30 June 2011

French Running Guns in Libya?

Oh, OK, I get it. It's not OK when Tim Spicer runs weapons to the legitimate government of Sierra Leone, but it's OK for France to airlift weapons to Libyan rebels, both in defiance of embargoes. Wait. Maybe I don't get it.

France has defended its move to airlift weapons to Libya's rebels, saying it did not break a U.N. arms embargo because they were needed to defend civilians under threat.
France on Wednesday became the first NATO country to openly acknowledge arming rebels seeking to topple Muammar Gaddafi, who has so far resisted a three-month-old bombing campaign that has strained alliance and rebel firepower.
The bombing is backed by a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing force to protect civilians, but Britain, France and the United States say they will not stop until Gaddafi falls.
Citing unnamed sources, Le Figaro newspaper said France had parachuted rocket launchers, assault rifles, machine guns and anti-tank missiles into the Western Mountains in early June.
A French military spokesman confirmed delivery of arms, prompting some U.N. diplomats to argue that such transfers without consent of the U.N. Security Council's Libya sanctions committee could violate the embargo.
"We decided to provide self-defensive weapons to the civilian populations because we consider that these populations were under threat," French Ambassador to the United Nations Gerard Araud told reporters.

By: Brant

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