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Anger in Libya after Seizure of Arms Sent from Turkey

Anger in Libya after Seizure of Arms Sent from Turkey

Thursday, 20 December, 2018 - 07:30

There was widespread anger in Libya this week after al-Khoms port authorities east of the capital Tripoli seized a container laden with weapons and ammunition coming from Turkey.

The authorities in the port said this was the second such seizure in al-Khoms this year.

They said the cargo included 3,000 handguns, 400 hunting rifles in addition to 2.3 million bullets.

The head of Libya’s National Committee for Human Rights, Ahmed Hamza, said that the commission was following up the matter with great concern.

He warned against the continued violation of the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council and the European Union since the fall of the former regime in 2011.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Hamza said that the transfer of weapons and ammunition to Libya would increase the cycle of violence among the bickering factions.

Such violence would reflect on the safety and security of civilians, he warned.

Hamza urged the UN Libya Experts Panel to launch a comprehensive investigation into the arms smuggling.

His comments came as several Libyan lawmakers expressed their rejection of Turkish policies towards Libya.

A parliamentarian from eastern Libya, who refused to be identified, said that he will propose to the legislature to take measures against Turkey and criminalize its weapons transfers, which he said are aimed at creating further chaos in the country.

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