| Jan-Mar 09 | Apr-Jun 09 | Jul-Sept 09 | Oct-Dec 09 | Jan-May 10 | Jun-Dec 10 | Jan-May 11 | Jun-Dec 11 |

[Dehai-WN] Foreignpolicy.com: U.N. panel documents military shopping list that helped topple Qaddafi

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2012 14:51:10 +0200

tary_shopping_list_that_helped_topple_qaddafi> U.N. panel documents military
shopping list that helped topple Qaddafi

Posted By <http://turtlebay.foreignpolicy.com/blog/16159> Colum Lynch
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/images/091022_meta_block.gifThursday, April 5,

As the late Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi's forces prepared to crush the Libyan
uprising last summer in Benghazi, Britain, France, Qatar, the United Arab
Emirates, the United States, and other allies moved quickly to reinforce the
beleaguered rebel forces.

With military supplies, training, advice -- and of course the backing of
NATO war planes -- this coalition of governments provided critical support
to change the course of the conflict, ultimately leading to Qaddafi's

The U.N. Security Council's arms embargo was primarily intended to constrain
Qaddafi's capacity to use its massive oil wealth to import new stocks of
weapons and foreign mercenaries to help put down the rebellion. But it also
placed restraints on the supply of weapons to the rebels, prompting the
Security Council to later introduce an exemption -- providing significant
cover for governments seeking to arm the rebels.

A new <http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2012/163> report
by a U.N. panel of experts responsible for monitoring the arms embargo in
Libya sought to itemize a list of military supplies -- everything from
sandbags to shouldered propelled rockets -- that flowed into Libya after the
U.N. Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Libya in February 2011. The
list, however, is incomplete because NATO and some of the insurgents' chief
military backers, including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, have refused
to provide a full account of their contributions.

The report identified numerous attempts by the Qaddafi regime "to secure
arms deals and use mercenaries from neighboring countries," citing reports
in the Globe and Mail about a July 2011 visit to Beijing by Libyan officials
seeking to purchase military supplies from three Chinese arms manufacturers.
(China denied that the talks led to any deals.) The panel also cited reports
that much of Libya's military capacity had been reconstituted after 2004,
following years of Western and U.N. sanctions, with the aid of Western
European countries and ex-Soviet states (The panel also noted that is
conducting an ongoing investigation into Qaddafi's use of mercenaries,
adding that so far it had found "no conclusive evidence.")

But the 78-page report provides insights into how the international
community combined diplomatic pressure, military airpower, and clandestine
arms deliveries, to topple a regime. It would not be surprising if some of
those countries considering backing the Syrian campaign to overthrow
President Bashar al-Assad in Syria are drawing from the same playbook.

The United States

Though U.S. airpower proved decisive in crippling Qaddafi's defenses, the
United States maintains that it provided only non-lethal military support to
the rebels. The report notes that on February 6, the United States provided
the panel with a list of its contributions, including 8,000 uniforms, 8,000
boots, 5,825 load-bearing vests, 2,850 bullet proof vests, 1,975 military
helmets, and "items for defensive positions (sandbags, Hescos...)."


The Italian government notified the panel on February 14 that it supplied 10
military trainers, 10,000 uniforms, 5,400 helmets and 2,800 leather boots.

United Kingdom.

On February 9, the United Kingdom informed the panel that it supplies the
rebels with 6,000 sets of body armor and no more than 20 military personnel.
The British action, according to the report, was intended to "provide a
military assistance team to the Libyan authorities for the purpose of
providing operational assistance, training and mentoring on security issues,
including reform of the armed services, counter-terrorism and


In April 2011, the French government notified the United Nations that it had
sent a small team of military advisors to Libya to provide the National
Transitional Council with "support and advice on ways to organize its
internal structure, manage its resources and improve its communications." In
June, it went further, notifying the UN that it had "airdropped self-defence
weapons for the civilian populations that had been victims of attacks by
Libyan armed forces." The panel's report contains no detailed list of these
contributions as the French asked it to keep the details confidential.


The panel said that it has obtained information that several flights
operating from Tirana, Albania, transported military materiel to Benghazi
over a three day period in September, 2011. The case remains under


One of the more tantalizing revelations in the panel report is the
suggestion that Darfuri rebel groups, including members of the Zaghawa tribe
and fighters from the Justice and Equality Movement, may have backed
Qaddafi's counterinsurgency campaign. The panel said that while it was not
able to "definitely corroborate" numerous reports of the military role in
the conflict, 'the accumulative strength of intelligence gives substantial
credibility to these findings." No to be outdone, Sudanese President Omar
al-Bashir, extended overflight rights over Sudanese territory to NATO,
according to senior U.N. diplomats, and allegedly supplied arms to the
insurgents, according to the panel. The panel cited claims by the Benghazi
rebel defense ministry that Sudan provided "small arms and light weapons
such as rocket-propelled grenades," and transported other supplies to
Bengazhi on two Ilyushin-76 aircraft. "According to media reports, on 26
October, the President of the Sudan, Omar Al-Bashir, gave a speech in Kasala
in which he acknowledged weapons deliveries from the Sudan to Libya and that
the weapons had reached revolutionaries in Misratah, Al-Jabal Al-Gharabi and
Zawiya." The Sudanese government did not reply to the panel's request for


In March 2011, Qatar notified the United Nations that it would participate
in NATO enforcement of the U.N.-authorized no-fly zone over Libya,
contributing "a number of military aircraft, military transport aircraft and
helicopters." Qatar categorically denied media reports that "it had supplied
the revolutionaries with arms and ammunition," saying only that it had "sent
a limited number of military personnel to provide military consultations to
the revolutionaries, defend Libyan civilians and protect aid convoys." The
only weapons and ammunition it had furnished was for the use of Qatari
military advisors in self-defense.

But the Qatari contention had one big hole in it. In July, 2011, a Swiss
television station discovered spent Swiss ammunition used by the Libyan
revolutionaries. The Swiss ammo had been exported to the Qatar armed forces
in 2009 by a Swiss arms company, FGS Frex, and made its way to Libya.
Confronted by Swiss authorities, who noted that Qatar was prohibited from
re-exporting the ammunition, the Qatari ambassador appeared to have
confirmed its role in the supply of ammunition. "The ambassador of Qatar
explained to the Swiss representatives that the 'transfer of the
aforementioned ammunition to the Libyan opposition was a misadventure in the
course of his country's support of the NATO operation in Libya.' He
reassured the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs that 'Qatar took the
appropriate measures to prevent similar errors in the future.'"

The United Arab Emirates

The panel provided few details about alleged arms transfers by the United
Arab Emirates, partly because it is conducting an ongoing investigation into
the matter, and partly because the Gulf state refused to provide the panel
with a list of its contributions. On March 25, "the United Arab Emirates
notified the [UN] Secretary General that it would participate, within the
framework of the international coalition, by providing military aircraft. No
notification was given regarding transfers of weapons or ammunition or
provision of military personnel." The panel visited the UAE to inquire about
its role in arming and advising the Libyan insurgents. The government
insisted that it had acted in conformity with UN resolutions and under the
umbrella of the NATO operation" to protect civilians. "They did not provide
more precise information and said that NATO would be in a better position to
answer those questions."


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's role in Libya was decisive in
crippling Qaddafi's military defenses and providing support for insurgent
offensive operations. While its air campaign is not the subject of the
panel's inquiry, the report notes that it wrote to NATO "asking it to
provide a detailed list of military materiel, including weapons and
ammunition, sent by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates or any other country
that participated in the NATO operation and information regarding the number
and roles of military personnel sent by those countries to Libya since the
imposition of the embargo. While NATO acknowledged the receipt of the
panel's request for information on 25 January 2012, no answer has been
provided to date."



      ------------[ Sent via the dehai-wn mailing list by dehai.org]--------------

(image/gif attachment: image001.gif)

Received on Thu Apr 05 2012 - 08:51:37 EDT
Dehai Admin
© Copyright DEHAI-Eritrea OnLine, 1993-2012
All rights reserved