UAE 'illegally sending weapons' to Libya, bypassing UN arms embargo

UAE 'illegally sending weapons' to Libya, bypassing UN arms embargo
A UN report said UAE has not responded to calls for clarification, adding that it had broken a UN embargo by sending weapons to the conflict zone.
2 min read
09 June, 2017
Haftar is fighting Islamist rebels in east Libya [AFP]
The UAE has ignored a UN arms embargo to send weapons to east Libya's General Haftar, the UN's Libya Sanctions Committee has reported.

The UAE's illicit arms sales had helped increase the numbers of civilian casualties in the conflict, the committee's report found.

According to al-Jazeera, the committee had asked the UAE for clarification on this issue but received no response.

Reuters reported on Friday that the on-going rift between UAE and Qatar is being played out on the battlefield in Libya, as both backed different sides in the uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The UAE has been helping General Haftar fight Islamist rebel fighters in the country's east.

But Qatar has denied funding any Islamist fighters with links to extremism.

General Haftar made several separate and unsubstantiated claims on 29 May that Hamas was financing Islamist fighters in east Libya.

In response, Hamas denied Haftar's claims outright on Thursday, saying it "has not — and will not — send its fighters and weapons abroad."

"Our weapons remain directed solely at Israel, which we will continue to resist — even if it means sacrificing our leaders, our sons and our homes,"  Khalil al-Hayya, a prominent Hamas member, said in a statement on Thursday.

The east Libyan government, headed by Abdullah Al-Thinni and backed by General Haftar, joined Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt in cutting relations with Qatar on Monday.