U.N. concerned by Libya's weapons

Dec. 5, 2011 at 12:11 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A decision to extend a U.N. mandate for Libya was made to support the transitional government's efforts to secure its weapons, the U.N. Security Council said.

The Security Council voted to extend the mandate for the U.N. Support Mission in Libya until March 2012. The mandate was expanded to help the transitional government deter the spread of the country's weapons.

In the resolution, the Security Council declared that "the mandate of UNSMIL shall in addition include, in coordination and consultation with the transitional government of Libya, assisting and supporting Libyan national efforts to address the threats of proliferation of all arms and related materiel of all types, in particular man-portable surface-to-air missiles."

The interim Transitional National Council declared Libya liberated in October after former leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed. NATO ended its U.N.-mandated Operation Unified Protector on Oct. 31.

Concerns were raised as the Libyan regime began to fall that some of its heavy weaponry would wind up in the hands of regional al-Qaida affiliates. Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said during a visit last month to Libya that weapons stockpiles were a "real interest" to members of the international community.

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