I understand the UK government, along with four other members of the UN Security Council have signed an agreement in Vienna to equip and train Libyan government forces.
Premier, Fayez al-Sarraj stated the Libyan government would submit a ‘weapons wish-list’ to the Security Council of the UN while urging the international community to assist.
Isn’t it fitting the provisional IRA has gone out of business and disposed of its weaponry, according to the former head of the IICD, General John de Chastelain, otherwise this former terrorist organisation would no doubt give serious consideration to assist in repaying the compliment of thirty years ago.
It was the then Libyan regime under the all guiding hand of colonel Gaddafi when the IRA submitted its wish-list, and according to the FCO at the time, was given arms, munitions and explosives in quantities totalling 120 tons, duly loaded aboard the cargo vessel Eksund and set sail for the Emerald Isle.
Fortunately it was the French Navy that just happened to be in the area, when the Eksund floated into French territorial seas.
The vessel was impounded, the cargo seized and the five crew members arrested – three of whom were Provo volunteers. The French action had undoubtedly saved many lives in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.
This new venture by the British and French governments as permanent members of the Security Council is indeed changed times with weapons flowing this time from west to east, plus British armed forces sent to train Libyan forces to fight against other Libyan forces and the dreaded Isis. All sounds straightforward!
Let us hope the British Prime Minister who along with others, is about to have a second bite of the Libyan cherry, knows what he is doing this time and does not plunge the UK into yet another never-ending bloody conflict and all that will entail.
MW Woods, Bangor