Libyan forces using western arms to deal with anti- Gaddafi protestors: EU

February 28th, 2011 - 2:51 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 28 (ANI): Military hardware worth hundreds of millions of pounds, which were supplied to Libya by European and British arms firms, are now being used by the Gaddafi regime in a crackdown against pro-democracy protestors, an EU document has revealed.

The European Union’s latest arms control report, released in January this year, said that member states had issued licences for the sale of 293.2 million pounds worth of weapons and weapons systems to Libya in 2009 alone, reports The Telegraph.

The report also said that Britain had issued arms firms’ licences for the sale of 21.7 million pounds worth of small arms, ammunition, ordinance, aviation components, armoured and protective equipment and military electronics.

Malta, which issued licences worth 67.9 million pounds, was reportedly the largest European arms supplier to Libya in 2009.

Germany had issued licences for the sale of 47 million pounds worth of military hardware, mainly vehicles and spare parts, while France had approved 20.6 million pounds of sales. Belgium had approved a total of 19.04 million pounds of sale of weapons.

The sales were part of an intense competition between Russian and European manufacturers. Libya began a modest rearmament effort in 2004, when the United States and EU lifted sanctions imposed because of its support to terrorist groups.

Libya had reportedly ordered 79 million pounds worth of tactical information and command system from General Dynamics UK, for the crack 32 Brigade commanded by one of Gaddafi’s sons, Khamis. It was described in a leaked US diplomatic cable as one of three last-ditch “regime protection units,” the paper said.

Libya had also ordered new T-90 and T-72 tanks and S-30 air-defence missiles from Russia, armoured vehicles from Jordan, trucks from the United Arab Emirates, and Milan anti-tank missiles from France. The French had also agreed to upgrade Libya’s ageing Mirage F-1 fighters, while Russia contracted to supply Su-30 and S-35 jets, but it is unclear whether these have been delivered, it added. (ANI)

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