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Walloon weapons out of control in Libya?
A video posted on Monday 21st February on YouTube shows an assembly of Libyan civilians holding up an anti-riot weapon FN 303, called “Less-Lethal Weapon”. Two thousand weapons of this type, produced by the company FN Herstal, belonged to the batch of armaments for which the Walloon Government had granted the export licenses to Libya in June 2009. Although it is difficult to determine if the exhibited weapon comes from this delivery, nor to show if it were actually used against the Libyan population, it is alarming to note that weapons of this type circulate from now on among the population.

GRIP insists on the need for a deep and fast reform of the delivery procedure of the arms export licenses in the Walloon region. This reform, together with a more rigorous interpretation of the criteria of the European Common Position on arms exports, should lead to a more careful arms export policy with regard to the countries which do not present the sufficient guarantees of stability and democracy. The systems of marking and traceability, just as the guarantees required of a customer State before the grant of the export licenses, cannot avoid the diversions since a country is plunged in chaos.

GRIP also points out the provisions of article 10 of the Common Position specifying that, although the Member States can also take into account the incidences of proposed exports on their economic, social, commercial and industrial interests, these factors shall not affect the application of the criteria defined in this document (respect for human rights, respect for the international obligations and commitments, internal situation and the existence of tensions or armed conflicts, preservation of regional peace, security and stability, etc.).

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