Sir Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defense, delivered a written statement today on the gifting of equipment to Libya. The UK has no on-the-ground combat role in fighting Daesh in Libya, but the Secretary for Defense mentioned that through a multinational effort to equip and train Libyan units, we hope to "...develop a sustainable solution to tackling the IED (explosives) threat that is destroying the lives of innocent Libyans." The full statement can be read below:
"I have today laid before the House a Departmental Minute describing a package of Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) equipment that the UK intends to gift to the Government of National Accord of Libya. The value of the package is £2,977,374.91, plus around £60,000 for packaging and shipping.The provision of this equipment is to support a C-IED training programme for Libyan military and police units. The training programme is being funded by the Governments of Germany and the United States, and will be delivered by a contractor.
In December 2016 the forces of the GNA concluded a hard-fought battle to liberate the city of Sirte from Daesh. However, the city is now littered with unexploded ordnance and IEDs deliberately planted by the retreated terrorists. Citizens that have returned to the city now face a severe threat from such devices, which is preventing a normal pattern of life from returning. Through this multinational effort to equip and train Libyan units, we will develop a sustainable solution to tackling the IED threat that is destroying the lives of innocent Libyans.
The Treasury has approved the proposal in principle. If, during the period of fourteen parliamentary sitting days beginning on the date on which this minute was laid, a Member signifies an objection by giving notice of a Parliamentary Question or a Motion relating to the minute, or by otherwise raising the matter in the House, final approval of the gift will be withheld pending an examination of the objection."