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Haftar calls for UN arms embargo to be lifted

November 22, 2016 at 3:08 pm

The UN’s arms embargo is preventing Libya from defeating Daesh, the head of the Libyan National Army Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar said.

“We have only light arms. We need heavy arms. If we have those arms there will be no more Daesh [in Libya],” Haftar said in an interview with French TV channel M6.

Describing the arms embargo as unjust and something that could not be accepted, he criticised the international community for its neutrality on Libya’s battle against Daesh. “If the embargo remains, if the world remains in the position of a spectator, we too will [be forced to] remain just spectators of Daesh.”

Russia is the only state sympathetic to ending the embargo in order to defeat Daesh in Libya; however the majority of the UN Security Council is in favour of maintaining the embargo stating that it will end once the Government of National Accord is approved and in full control of the Libyan military.

Haftar’s demand comes in light of his force’s recent gains in Benghazi’s Gwarsha district.

Even if Deash are defeated in both Benghazi and Sirte, it is unlikely that Libya’s Daesh problem will end. Officials in Misrata have stated that many Deash supporters have managed to escape Sirte and are now regrouping elsewhere including in neighbouring countries including Algeria and Tunisia.