Tag Archives: Libya

3 February 2014

US-backed programme discreetly destroys Libya’s chemical weapons

An US-backed campaign for the past three months to discreetly destroy Libya’s lethal arsenal and chemical weapons successfully ended last week. Hundreds of bombs and artillery rounds filled with mustard agents, which the US feared could fall into terrorists’ hands, were destroyed. The programme took 45 million US dollar from the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction fund and the Pentagon assigned Parsons Corporation to work with Libya to rebuild and safeguard the disposal site. Additionally, Canada donated 6 million US dollar to the site to restore water, sewage and electricity, and to build living quarters, while Germany agreed to send international inspectors to the site.

Paul F. Walker, an arms control expert with Green Cross International, stated ‘[e]ven though Libya’s chemical stockpile was relatively small, the effort to destroy it was very difficult because of weather, geography and because it’s a dangerous area with warring tribes, increasing the risks of theft and diversion.’ The disposal site is located in the desert where Islamist militants are gaining more influence and where the eastern and western provinces struggle over political power and oil revenue.

The programme used a Swedish custom-built device to destroy the chemical weapons. The device is like a giant, high-tech oven in which the weapons are fed into a gas-tight chamber, where the toxic materials are vaporised at temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The easily transportable technology used to destroy Libya’s chemical weapons has become a model for the programme in Syria to destroy their chemical weapons now underway.

Source: The New York Times | Libya’s Cache of Toxic Arms All Destroyed

15 October 2013

UNHCR spokesperson: wider responsibility sharing among EU states needed

After one of deadliest migrant-ship disasters in recent history, whereby a vessel originating from Libya capsized, already resulting in the death of 311 individuals, UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokesperson Adrian Edwards urged wider responsibility-sharing among European Union states to process asylum claims, and to find lasting solutions for people that are in need of international protection.

A better gathering and sharing of information about the routes and means that people are taking in flight is also needed, as well as improved rescue at sea detection and response, and better care arrangements on arrival after their disembarkation, such as improved facilities, according to Edwards.

Source: UNHCR | UNHCR warns of further boat tragedy risk on Mediterranean
Source: UN News Centre | After Lampedusa tragedy, UN refugee agency urges European Union to revisit migration polices

25 September 2013

Four African states set up joint authority and agree to improve use of underground water resource

Chad, Egypt, Libya and Sudan signed a UN backed ‘Strategic Action Programme’, to ensure the equitable use of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, a water resource that lies beneath the four states. The Action Programme envisages improving cooperation among the four arid nations, and strengthening their capacity to manage and monitor the aquifer effectively. It also establishes a new Joint Authority for the Nubian Aquifer System.

Source: UN News Centre | Four African nations agree to improve use of key water resource under UN-backed plan

8 August 2013

Report: CIA was smuggling weapons to Syrian rebels during Benghazi embassy attack

According to a report by CNN, the CIA was conducting a weapons smuggling operation from Libyan arms depots to the Syrian rebels when the United States’ embassy in Benghazi was attacked in September 2012.

The report alleges the possibility that CIA operations in Benghazi were secretly helping to transport surface-to-air missiles from Libyan depots, through Turkey, to Syrian rebel groups. The CIA has not commented on any involvement in weapons transfers, while the State Department has denied involvement and stated it was merely helping the new Libyan government destroy unsafe weapons.

Source: CCN | The Lead | Exclusive: Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attack
Source: Centre for Research on Globalization | CIA Was Smuggling Weapons to Syrian Rebels During Benghazi Embassy Attack: “Unnamed Source”

30 January 2013

Italy to pay compensation for failure to protect passenger jet from stray missile

Italy’s highest criminal court has ruled that Italian radar systems did not adequately protect jets from stray missiles, and that Italy must compensate the victims’ families. It held that there was “abundantly” clear evidence that a stray missile caused an Italian passenger jet to crash into the Mediterranean Sea in 1980, resulting in the death of all 81 people aboard.

It remains unclear who fired the missile. One theory is that the jet was caught in the crossfire of a military aerial fight, with a Libyan plane possibly the target. French, U.S. and NATO officials have denied military activity in the skies that night.

Source: The Washington Post | Italian court: Missile caused 1980 Mediterranean plane crash; Italy must pay compensation

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