ISSN 2330-717X

Libya: Gaddafi Regime Had Undeclared Chemical Weapons Stockpile


Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had an undeclared stockpile of chemical weapons, the body that oversees a global ban on such munitions has said.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said inspectors visited Libya this week.

Among the chemical munitions they found were stocks of sulphur mustard agent, which can cause severe blistering.

Libya’s new rulers told the group about the previously unknown stocks last year after removing Gaddafi from power.

The inspectors said that all the newly declared materials are being stored at the Ruwagha depot, in the south-east of the country.

Gaddafi’s government had succeeded in destroying 54% of its declared sulphur mustard and about 40% of the precursor chemicals before operations had to be suspended in February 2011 when the destruction facility stopped working.

The OPCW said Libya now has until 29 April 2012 to submit a detailed plan and a date by which the destruction of the materials will be completed.

According to an international treaty to rid the world of chemical weapons signed by Libya, stocks were supposed to be destroyed by 29 April 2012.

However, delays on action to meet such a goal by other major stockpilers and signatories – including the US and Russia – mean that it is highly unlikely this deadline will be met, BBC News reported.

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