Despite assurances to the contrary, former Libyan leader, Muammar Gadaffi, has kept numerous stores of chemical weapons across the country. The weapons should have been destroyed in 2004, and have only just surfaced after being discovered by the new government.Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, brought Gadaffi in from the coldness of political isolation from the West. One of the concrete promises being that the Libyan dictator cease his development of chemical agents, and other weapons of mass destruction.
Despite these promises, discoveries in recent weeks have proven that Gadaffi misled Mr. Blair, and the rest of the world.
A week ago, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reported that the National Transitional Council (NTC) discovered further stockpiles of dangerous, chemical weapons; including mustard gas.
Sources within the British Foreign office have suggested that the cachĂ© is far larger than had been previously thought, and that the weapons appear to be distributed over numerous sites.
Britain is arranging the sending of a specialist team to help the new government investigate the size and scope of Colonel Gadaffis secret chemical weapon development programme, and to assist in the containment and destruction of any stockpiles which are discovered.
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, referenced the discovery of a hidden stockpile in his speech at the Lord Mayors Banquet, stating that âAlthough Gadaffi agreed to declare and dismantle all his weapons of mass destruction, and although we made real progress diminishing the threat he posed, in the last few days we have learnt that the new Libyan authorities have found chemical weapons that were kept hidden from the world.â
The former Libyan leader confirmed his possession of 25 metric tones of bulk mustard agent, 1,400 metric tones of precursor chemicals (which are used to make chemical weapons), along with 3,500 unfilled bombs designed for the use in a chemical warfare scenario.
These were all that were declared when Libya joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2004, yet it appears that Gadaffi lied and misled the international community, since once all agents and facilities were declared and confirmed, they were to be destroyed.
This comes as an embarrassment for Mr. Blair and the British government, who used the fact that Libya ceased its chemical weapons production completely as a justification for negotiating and creating official diplomatic ties with a regime guilty of countless atrocities.