News / Africa

UN Chief in Libya, Seeks Weapons Controls

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses a meeting at United Nations headquarters, October 20, 2011 (file photo).
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses a meeting at United Nations headquarters, October 20, 2011 (file photo).
TEXT SIZE - +

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has used a previously unannounced visit to Libya to urge the country's new leaders to secure weapons stockpiled by the former Gadhafi government.

Ban says he raised the issue Wednesday during a meeting in Tripoli with Libya's transitional leader, Mustafa Abdel Jalil. The secretary-general says it is particularly important to secure stocks of shoulder-fired missiles and chemical and biological weapons.

Some of those arsenals were left unguarded during the chaotic outcome of the popular uprising this year that resulted in long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi's death last month. The U.N. Security Council warned in a resolution Monday of the risk that terrorists and other armed groups in the region could gain access to the former regime's weapons.

Ban, visiting Libya for the first time since the uprising began in March, told Jalil the U.N. will support the Libyan people in their transition to democracy. He offered U.N. help to Libya in preparing for its first free elections, in drafting a new constitution and in safeguarding human rights and improving public security.

From Tripoli, the U.N. chief goes to the French city of Cannes to attend a summit of the Group of 20 economic powers.

Libya's National Transitional Council on Monday appointed Abdurrahim el-Keib as its new interim prime minister. The American-educated engineering professor said he protecting human rights will be a priority for his interim government, expected to remain in power until elections next year.

Human-rights groups have expressed concern about the NTC's treatment of pro-Gadhafi fighters and African migrants during the eight-month uprising.

In another development, Italy on Wednesday became the first EU nation to resume commercial flights to post-Gadhafi Libya. An Alitalia plane left Rome for Tripoli carrying more than 100 people, mostly Libyan citizens.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini praised the resumption of flights as an "important signal" of the depth of Italy's involvement in Libya, a former Italian colony. Italy was one of several NATO member states that took part in an aerial bombing campaign in support of the anti-Gadhafi uprising.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid