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UK Provides Body Armour to Libyan Rebels
30/06/2011 13:44:00
Britain has given the Libyan rebels 5,000 sets of body armour, as well as police uniforms, high-visibility vests and communications equipment, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Thursday.

He added this was "fully in line" with the UN Security Council resolution governing international action on Libya and the arms embargo.

Two months ago, in April, Mr Hague announced that Britain had decided to supply the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) with "non-lethal assistance" to help them protect civilians in the fight against Libyan leader Muammar Al Qathafi's forces.

In an update on Thursday, he confirmed that 5,000 sets of body armour, 6,650 police uniforms, 5,000 high visibility vests and t-shirts and communications equipment for police stations had been provided.

In a written statement to the British House of Commons he said: "I can now confirm that the... additional equipment has been granted to the NTC for the sole use of the civilian police force."

He added: "Provision of this equipment is fully in line with UNSCRs (UN Security Council resolutions) 1970 and 1973, including the arms embargo.

"This equipment will enable the civilian police to carry out their functions more securely and better protect NTC representatives and the significant international and NGO communities in Benghazi, Misurata and other areas of Libya now controlled by the NTC," he added.

The announcement comes a day after France acknowledged on Wednesday that it had delivered arms to rebels in Libya. Britain said France's move raised "quite a few issues" and it would not follow suit.

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