The United Nations Security Council expressed concern over the security of the stockpile of weapons in Libya. It specifically worried that weapons — shoulder-fired missiles for example — left behind by the regime of Moammar Gadhafi could end up in the hands of Al-Qaida.
The appeal to stop the spread of loose Libyan arms was the thrust of a Russian-drafted resolution, which highlighted the threat of man-portable surface-to-air missiles, dubbed MANPADS, — shoulder-launched rockets that can be used to shoot down planes and helicopters, making them a favorite among militant groups.
The resolution, which the 15-nation council adopted unanimously, voiced “concern about the proliferation of all arms … of all types, in particular (MANPADS), from Libya, in the region.” It appealed to the Libyan government “to take all necessary steps to prevent the proliferation of all arms.”
The council called on Libya to cooperate with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to destroy its remaining chemical weapon stockpiles. Last week Libyan government forces said they had found chemical weapons in Libya and were guarding them.
The resolution came just as NATO formally ended its air campaign in the country. The BBC reports that NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen was in Tripoli to mark the date.
“You’ve acted to change your history and your destiny; we acted to protect you. Together we succeeded,” Rasmussen said at a news conference, according the BBC. “The future of free Libya is finally firmly in your hands.”