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UN: GNA must assure no weapons go to wrong hands

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The UN Security Council is seeking assurances from Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) unity government that new weapons will not fall into the wrong hands before it can authorize the purchases, according to Western diplomats.

A senior Security Council diplomat demanded to remain anonymous, said that the GNA has yet to present its request to the committee.

He added that “the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) will need to provide reassurance when making requests to the UN sanctions committee that there is no risk of arms exports being diverted to terrorist groups.”

“It will take time for the GNA to put in place the necessary measures, such as secure storage facilities. The request may therefore still take some time to issue,” he said.

UN 25 members agreed at a meeting last month to help the government and its Prime Minister, Fayez Al-Sarraj, arm itself to confront the Islamic State (IS). The countries agreed to support a request for an exemption to the arms embargo on Libya to allow Al-Sarraj’s government to make the purchases.

Another diplomat cited pointed to concerns regarding the command structure of the various armed groups now supporting Al-Sarraj government and said that there was a need to clarify who will be receiving the weapons.

A UN arms embargo imposed in 2011 during the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi remains in force.