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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

U.S. set to release $1.5 bln in Libyan funds

RIA Novosti

03:00 26/08/2011 UNITED NATIONS, August 26 (RIA Novosti) - The United States will unfreeze $1.5 billion in Libyan assets to provide humanitarian aid to cash-strapped opposition forces fighting to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi's regime, a source at UN headquarters said.

The Libyan funds in U.S. banks have been frozen under UN Resolution 1970 to discourage Gaddafi from using force against protesters demanding democratic reforms in the oil-rich North African country.

The released funds are expected to be split in three equal parts and distributed in the following order - $500 mln will go to international humanitarian organization working in Libya, $500 mln will cover expenses for deliveries of fuel and humanitarian cargoes and the remaining $500 mln will be spent on education and health care.

A draft resolution prepared by Washington says none of the funds could be used for purchases of weaponry, non-lethal military equipment or any other military-related assets.

The uprising against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule began in February. An international military operation "to protect civilians" in Libya began on March 19 following a UN resolution.

Rebel forces are controlling large swaths of the country and most of the capital, Tripoli.

Libya's rebel National Transitional Council announced on Thursday it would soon start governing the country from Tripoli.

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