1 Nov 2011

UN Security Council concern over Libyan weapon stockpile

7:27 pm on 1 November 2011

The United Nations Security Council has expressed deep concern over the fate of the massive weapons stockpile built up in Libya during the four decades the country was controlled by Muammar Gaddafi.

The Council is calling on Libya and its neighbours to stamp out the proliferation of looted arms and calls on neighbouring states to draw up measures to stop smuggling.

The resolution was drafted by Russia and adopted unanimously.

In particular, it mentions the huge stockpile of shoulder-fired surface to air missiles, which had been accumulated by Colonol Gaddafi and could still pose a threat to passenger aircraft.

The BBC says there are fears they could fall into the hands of al-Qaeda and other militant groups in Africa and the wider region.

Earlier, the interim leadership in Libya named Tripoli businessman Abdel-Rahim al-Keeb as the new prime minister.

He was elected in a poll held by the National Transitional Council ahead of eight other candidates.

The BBC says he is seen as a consensus candidate and Libyans hope he will be able to smooth over regional and other rivalries within the council.

He will now have to appoint a cabinet and prepare for elections.

And the NATO air campaign that allowed Libyan rebels to overthrow the former leader Muammar Gaddafi is due to officially end on Tuesday.

The military alliance has already halted its bombing campaign and will shortly stop enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, despite the National Transitional Council asking it to maintain military support.