Libya becoming “an experimental field for all kinds of new weapons systems”


The UN's special envoy to Libya, Stephanie Williams, has described the country as “an experimental field for all kinds of new weapons systems”, as supporters of the warring parties violate the UN's arms embargo and continue to ship weapons into the country. Williams identified the RPO-A flamethrower and a range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including a "UAV that is essentially like a suicide UAV that explodes on impact.” Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) has also said it is investigating a possible use of chemical weapons, and the UN's Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has renwed calls for a ceasefire that has been violated 850 times.

Suspected violations of the arms embargo include recent reports of companies from the United Arab Emirates shipping 11,000 tonnes of fighter jet fuel worth $5 million to eastern Libya. The Financial Times has reportedly seen documents that show the fuel was supplied by Afrifin Logistics FZE using a tanker operated by the Liberian company Gulf Shipping Services FZC.

At the end of March the European Union launched a new operation in an attempt to enforce the arms embargo, with Germany deploying 300 troops, a ship and surveillance planes.


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