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UN: ‘26m guns in the hands of 6m Libyans’

September 5, 2016 at 1:40 pm

“Twenty-six million guns [are] in the hands of six million Libyans,” an investigation into arms supply to Libyan militia groups has shown.

United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) chief Martin Kobler said the report, findings of which will be forwarded to the UN Security Council once completed, will identify the source of these weapons, how they are entering the country and the actors responsible for this trade.

Speaking with the Minister for Maghreb Affairs, the African Union and the Arab League Abdelkader Messahel on a two day visit to Algeria, Kobler discussed a number of security issues including “the fight against terrorism and the situation in Sirte” stressing that “Sirte will be very soon freed” from Daesh forces. Recent clashes in the city between forces loyal to Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj and Daesh fighters have been ensuing for months with reports the city could soon be “liberated” as early as next week.

The meeting was attended by numerous Libyan and international experts discussing national reconciliation in Libya and the “urgency and importance” of implementing the Libyan Political Agreement that was signed on 17 December 2015.

Algeria has proven to be an important player in mediating talks between Libya’s factionalist groups but security concerns along the Libya border have been met with increased border patrols, surveillance and talks of a security fence.

A political meeting between various Libyan faction leaders will be held in the upcoming days in Tunisia.