12 March 2014
UN envoys: Libya primary source for illicit arms, urgent need for assistance due to increased violence
International assistance is essential to helping Libya through its democratic transition, said Tarek Mitri, the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), in a statement to the Security Council on 10 March 2014. According to Mitri, there has been a ‘dramatic’ increase in violence over the past three months and ‘while the primary responsibility for reining in the perpetrators of this ugly campaign of terror lies with the State, this will only be possible with the concerted efforts by the Government, political, civic and revolutionary forces, aiming at the protection of the civilian population.’ Mitri said that the Libyan people expect the international community to help them with the difficult task of reconstructing the state.
On the same day, Eugène-Richard Gasana, the chair of the committee which monitors the UN sanctions imposed on Libya, reported to the Security Council that Libya has become a key source for illicit weapons. According to the committee, the control of non-state armed groups over the majority of weapons in Libya and ineffective border control cause arms proliferation and fuel conflicts and insecurity, including terrorism, across several continents. Gasana urged the Libyan government to improve the monitoring of weapons supplied to the government with the approval of the UN Sanctions committee, which supervises the arms embargo. Libya’s UN ambassador, Ibrahim Dabbashi, told the Security Council that ‘any request for approval for exporting weapons to Libya that is not done via the Libyan mission at the UN or with the knowledge of this mission would be considered a request from a party that does not belong to the Libyan government’ and that ‘the exporting party shall bear the responsibility for that before the Security Council.’