- Expatica countries
Index Last Var.(%) BEL 20 3083.51 0.32 DAX 9605.08 0.17 IBEX 30 10058.5 -1.04 CAC 40 4387.61 -0.20 FTSE 100 6806.86 -0.05 AEX 397.5 -0.20 DJIA 16272.65 0.46 Nasdaq 4318.933 0.63 FTSE MIB 20298.33 -0.11 TSX Composite 14214.35 0.18 ASX 5415.4 -0.10 Hang seng 22836.96 0.04 Straits Times 3110.78 0.45 ISEQ 20 836.3 0.23 EUR / USD 1.37976 0.67 EUR / GBP 0.82571 0.59 USD / GBP 0.598544 -0.10 Gold 1329.6 -0.13 Oil 108.9 -0.76 Silver 21.28 0.08
21/02/2011Belgium probes arms sales to Kadhafi regime
Belgium's regional government of Wallonia came under fire on Monday for authorising the sale of weapons to Libya in 2009, prompting a probe into whether the arms were used against protesters.
The governments of the French-speaking region asked the Belgian ambassador in Tripoli to ask Libyan authorities how the weapons have been used, said Christopher Barzal, spokesman for Wallonia's regional leader Rudy Demotte.
Wallonia gave an export license to Liege-based FN Herstal for the sale of 367 F2000 assault rifles, 367 P90 submachine guns, 367 Five-Seven handguns, 20 Minimi light machine guns, 22,000 rifle grenades and 1.134 million rounds of ammunition for these weapons, for a total value of 6.9 million euros.
The license also authorised the sale of 2,000 FN 303, a compressed-air gun that fires projectiles which, according to the firm's website, can be used to stop a "hostile but unarmed individual or group" among other things.
The sale of these so-called "less-lethal" weapons was valued at 5.3 million euros.
The final use certificate states that the weapons are for the exclusive use of the Libyan army's 32nd elite forces battalion for a mission to protect "humanitarian aid convoys to Darfur", Barzal said.
The Belgian Human Rights League expressed fears that the weapons could have been used by the regime of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi to repress anti-government protests, but it admitted it had no proof.
"The probability is very low, but we have asked the ambassador to verify urgently," Barzal said.
The European Union lifted an arms embargo on Libya in 2004.
In Belgium's decentralised political system, the regions are responsible for approving licenses for arm exports.
© 2011 AFP
- Most Popular Articles
Stay up to date with the news, without having to speak the local language.
Meet the most eligible internationals in Belgium at Expatica Date!
Find English-language jobs on Expatica job site.
- Discussion Forums
- Inside Expatica
This handy guide from Expertise in Labour Mobility includes how to write a CV, application procedure, interview dos and don'ts, Belgian management culture.
Belgium’s first alternative directory assistance services - available through the shortcode 14-14 - can now be accessed on the internet.
Moving to Belgium presents a host of challenges to expats, not least of all finding the right home.
The psychological effects of global mobility can be physically painful.