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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Libya Special Weapons Guide

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Following a series of consultations in Tripoli, UNSMIL began facilitating informal coordination among the Libyan authorities, Member States providing or offering assistance, and the relevant international organizations, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This informal group served, on a temporary basis, to facilitate information flows on actual or suspected chemical, nuclear or other non-conventional arms, material and sites, including security conditions at such sites, and on offers of assistance by international partners.

The National Transitional Council forces appeared to be controlling all relevant chemical and nuclear material sites; centralized command and control remains a concern. Although IAEA has recognized the importance of verifying and safeguarding existing nuclear materials, its primary immediate concern was to account for nuclear material used for commercial and medical purposes. Regarding stocks of uranium fissile material (“yellowcake”), IAEA has noted that these do not pose a major proliferation concern or radiological hazard. Discussions with Libya are under way for possible missions by IAEA to cover both safeguards and nuclear security-related activities.

On 3 November 2011, a team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons carried out an inspection at the Ruwagha depot in the south-east of the country, the first since February 2011. It confirmed that the depot’s full stockpiles of sulphur mustard and other chemical agents remained in place, and it took further measures to ensure the integrity of the stockpiles until destruction operations can resume under verification by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Importantly, however, two previously undeclared sites have been identified and secured by Libyan counterparts in recent weeks. The Libyan authorities officially notified the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons of the discoveries on 1 November, and that organization would continue to work with the Libyan authorities to verify and destroy any newly declared stocks.




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