The German Government is providing EUR 750,000 for the securing and destruction of small arms – including man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS) – up to the end of this year.
The money will be used to enable specialist Libyan and international teams to locate, secure and destroy small arms and ammunition arsenals.
In Foreign Minister Westerwelle’s view, supporting the securing and destruction of old weapons is an important task for the international community. The uncontrolled transfer and proliferation of such weapons must, he believes, be prevented.
The projects are being carried out by the Swiss NGO Fondation Suisse de Déminage (FSD). The German Government coordinates its efforts towards the destruction of small arms closely with the US and other international partners.
Giving help in this connection is a further extension of Germany’s efforts to ensure disarmament and provide humanitarian assistance in Libya. This year the Federal Foreign Office is making available EUR 600,000 to support mine clearance projects in Libya as well as EUR 291,000 for a project to destroy 500,000 unlaid land mines.
During the civil war in Libya weapons and ammunition were plundered from the Gaddafi regime’s arsenals. The uncontrolled proliferation of these weapons could jeopardize reconstruction efforts and have a destabilizing effect in neighbouring states.
It is especially important to secure man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS), which can also endanger civil aviation.