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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Sebha [Pharma 200]

Pharma 200, a plant in the Sebha Oasis 650 km south of Tripoli, has been alleged to be a chemical weapons (CW) production facility. Construction of the Sebha plant, said to be located underground at a military base, reportedly began in the 1980s. By 1990, at the time of the initial allegations involving Sebha, the plant was said to be nearly complete. The Pharma 200 facility was said to be designed using the same plans as for Pharma 150, the CW plant at Rabta, and it was reported that the Sebha plant was almost identical to the one at Rabta. There have been no allegations of CW production at Sebha in recent years.

The Sebha facility has also been linked to Libyan biological weapons (BW) efforts.

Prior to the release of the 28 May 2004 IAEA report, this facility was not previously associated with Libya's nuclear weapons program in the open literature. It is unclear whether the US intelligence community had associated this facility with Libya's nuclear ambitions prior to the year 2003, when Libya decided to abandon the weapons program.

The yellow cake storage facility at Sabha was termed Site F by the IAEA.

In 1980 the West German firm, Orbital Transport-und-Raketen Aktiengesellschaft (OTRAG) built a rocket-testing base in the Libyan desert. A test flight was reported from either the Sebha Oasis or the Jarmah Oasis on 01 March 1981. OTRAG became inactive in late 1984, and this effort soon collapsed.

A London report [The Sunday Correspondent (London), 8 Oct 89, FBIS-WEU 10 Oct 89, p. 12.] claimed that, in October 1989, about 100 German engineers were working on a 500-750-km missile system, code-named "Ittisalt," in a desert camp about 100 km from Sebha, the site of the earlier OTRAG work and also the location of an alleged second Libyan chemical weapons complex. The missile work was reported to be in the research and development stage.

Sabha is located in central Libya, at Latitude 27.0333 Longitude 14.4333. Sabha is one of the municipalities of Libya. It is in the center of the country. Its capital is Sabha.

Sebha [Sabha], a town of less than 40,000 people deep in the Fezzan desert, is also one of the main cities of Libya. It is distinguished by wide streets and white buildings which are mostly of one or two stories. Its singular social pattern gives it a unique personality. It is a modern oasis in the midst of the desert -- forest and green gardens invigorate both inhabitants and visitors. The modern Sebha was been built on the debris of an old town. It represents the development Libya has attained in a short time after the overthrow of the old regime by the Revolution inf 1969. The older buildings have been preserved for visitors and tourists to see.

Sebha has little to offer except accommodation, serving as the natural base for travel in the Fezzan area. The Ramlat Dawada area, with 11 lakes in the very middle of Sahara, is within reach of Sebha. The sand is almost red. There are many strange things in these lakes, one of which actually changes color, between green, red and blue, probably due to algae. Another is as salty as the Dead Sea. People from this area has been despised by Libyans in general, as they eat worms from the lakes [not actually worms, but a kind of prawn].

Sebha's main attraction must be its connection to Gadhafi - the high school he attended where his political awakening started. In 1959 the 15-year-old son of Abu Meniar and Aissha al-Qaddafi first heard Egypt's charismatic leader, Gamal Abdul Nasser, on the radio program, "Voice of the Arabs," beamed from Cairo. The school now is in normal use, looking in from outside. Sebha was the sources of the First September Revolution of 1969, and it was the pace where the Jamahiriya was announced in the "Declaration on the Authority of the People" on 2 March 1977.

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:45:42 ZULU