Canada to give Libya $10M to disarm

Oct. 11, 2011 at 10:52 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Libya's National Transition Council will receive $10 million from Canada to hunt down and destroy weapons, a Canadian minister said in Tripoli Tuesday.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird met with the NTC chief, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, and then announced the disbursement, Postmedia News reported.

Libya has been wracked by violence since February when dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi turned his military against protesters calling for him to step down. The United Nations authorized NATO to support the rebels with a naval and air blockade and widespread international recognition of the new temporary governing council developed.

Gadhafi's whereabouts are unknown and there are concerns loyalists could return for hidden weapons.

Meanwhile, Baird said the bid to hunt down weapons caches, ranging from assault rifles to rocket-propelled grenades was of major interest to his government in Ottawa.

"The security situation in Libya is still quite volatile and the risk of these items falling into the wrong hands or injuring civilians is very real," Baird said. "Canada sees this disarmament as a top priority in making Libya and the entire region safer."

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