The US and other world powers have requested UN permission to arm the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya, in order to help its fight against the self-titled Islamic State.
The request came after a series of talks between over 20 states, including all permanent members of the UN Security Council, on how best to strengthen the GNA, while also preventing further progression by IS and other rival governments in Libya.
The Government of National Accord is an interim government created out of the Libyan Political Agreement in september of 2015 and has been unilaterally endorsed by the UN Security Council. The agreement also established the Presidential Council as the Head of State for the GNA, which then took control of the Libyan National Army.
In order to supply the GNA with the weaponry required to combat these groups, US and the other worlds powers are requesting exemption by the UN Sanctions Committee from an arms embargo imposed on Libya after the fall of the Gaddafi regime. As the request has the backing of the entire UN Security Council it is unlikely that it will face any real opposition.
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said that the request was just one part of a larger agreement, reached by the countries participating in the talks, that also included the acceleration of non-military aid. He also showed support for the decision by the Libyan Presidential Council to allow its 18 cabinet ministers to begin work in their respective ministries, despite not receiving backing by the nation’s parliament.
The chairmen of the Presidential Council, Fayez al-Sarraj, has said that he expects his government to submit a list of weapons requests to the UN Security Council soon. A statement by the countries asking for the embargo exemption made it clear that they are ready to fulfil the GNA’s requests for weapons and training.