Stop arms leakage, Moscow urges Libya

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Moscow: The Libyan authorities should do everything possible to stop the spread of Libyan weapons in the region and beyond, Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

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Rebels in Libya, some of them from Islamist groups, ousted and killed long-standing leader Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011 after an uprising, in which they received assistance from NATO forces. Government arsenal across the country were looted during the conflict.

“International experts confirm there are thefts of weapons, including portable anti-aircraft missile systems, from Libyan army depots which are subsequently sent abroad, above all, to trouble spots in the Middle East and North Africa,” he said.

There are continuous reports of Libyan arms trafficking, he said.

“For example, in Mali, Libyan arms are being used by terrorist elements.”

“Russia as a participant in the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee, raises the question of the need to conduct a thorough probe into all such incidents,” he said.

The main responsibility for preventing uncontrolled transfer of arms outside the region and ensuring their safe protection lies with the Libyan authorities, who should place their arsenal under tight control and prevent weapons getting into terrorist hands, Lukashevich said.

“The international community is ready to render them every assistance,” he added.