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U.N. approves high seas crackdown on Libya arms smuggling

BY MICHELLE NICHOLS

The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday unanimously authorized a crackdown on arms smuggling in the high seas off Libya by allowing the inspection of vessels to seize and dispose of illicit weapons.

The European Union proposed the council resolution to expand its naval operation in the Mediterranean, which the 15-member Security Council authorized in October to seize and dispose of boats operated by human traffickers.

The council resolution expressed concern that “arms and related materiel are being used by terrorist groups operating in Libya, including ISIL (Islamic State).”

French Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters ahead of the vote that the resolution has “the potential to be a game-changer,” since a large quantity of arms is smuggled via ship off the coast of Libya.

Libya U.N. envoy Martin Kobler told the Security Council last week that Libya was awash with arms – 20 million pieces of weaponry in the North African state of six million people.

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Via: http://www.reuters.com/

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