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UN calls for a unified Libyan army before lifting arms embargo


The United Nations says Libya’s army needs to unify in order for the Security Council to lift an arms embargo imposed in 2011.

U.N. special envoy to Libya ,Martin Kobler, told a news conference during an Arab league meeting on Libya’s crisis, in Cairo on Saturday, that the international body calls for a unified army with a clear chain of command represented by the UN-backed unity government.

“If you have armed units like for example the presidential guard now in Tripoli, reporting to the authority of the supreme command of the army, which is according to the Libyan political agreement, the presidency council, they are in the process and entitled to have an exemptions from the weapons embargo from the sanctions committee of the Security Council of the United Nations.”

The Libyan government is currently allowed to import weapons and related material with the approval of a Security Council committee. The committee has long urged Libya to improve monitoring of its weapons over concerns that some government arms were being diverted to militant groups.

During the same meeting, the European Union’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini stressed that the EU is working towards stemming the illegal flow of migrants through Libya to Europe.

“Trafficking and smuggling business is part of one of the problems that Libya is facing in this moment and the loss of lives, both inside Libya, before the flow goes to Libya, and in the sea, is something we all have to take responsibility for to stop it.”

Meanwhile, eastern based Libyan National Army (LNA) on Saturday claimed capture of the final holdout of hardline armed forces in the southwest of Benghazi, ending weeks of resistance by fighters.

The north African county has been engulfed in conflict since a 2011 uprising.

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