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‘Libya weapons may be trafficked to terrorists’

UNITED NATIONS, March 14, (AFP): Libya’s anti-aircraft weapons have been trafficked to neighboring countries and risk landing in the hands of terrorists, a UN-commissioned report said on Thursday. An independent panel monitoring UN sanctions on Libya said they are worried that some of Libya’s arsenal of shoulder-launched anti-aircraft weapons have been trafficked to Chad, Mali, Tunisia, and Lebanon. Illicit efforts have also been made to send the weapons to opposition groups in Syria, the panel wrote in their report to the world body. “Over the last three years, Libya has become a primary source of illicit weapons,” the report said.

The panel said thousands of the antimissile weapons are held in arsenals controlled by an array of “non-state actors” with only tenuous, or even nonexistent, links to Libyan national authorities. Most the weapons were Soviet era anti-aircraft weapons dating back to the 1970s and 1980s and, despite their age, were still in serviceable condition, the report said. It said there also have been efforts to export anti-missile weapons to the Central African Republic, where violence has left thousands dead and displaced around a quarter of the country’s 4.6 million people. “Fears that terrorist groups would acquire these weapons have materialized,” said the panel, which reported its findings to the UN Security Council

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