Libyan rebel forces discover chemical weapons stockpile

Libyan rebel forces claim to have discovered stockpiles of banned chemical weapons in the southern desert areas captured from Qaddafi loyalists in the last few days.
Spokesmen from the National Transitional Council said that the depot was found in the Jufra area, 435 miles south of Tripoli, during an offensive against strongholds of the regime in the remote south of the country, the Guardian reports.
CNN reported that Qaddafi's Qaddadfa tribe in Sebha is prepared to surrender its weapons and wants to negotiate an agreement with the NTC. Libya was supposed to have destroyed its entire stockpile of chemicals weapons in early 2004 as part of a rapprochement with the west engineered by the British. The country also abandoned a rudimentary nuclear program.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, however, said that it believed Libya had kept 9.5 tons of mustard gas at a secret location, which now appears to have been captured and secured.
In 2010, Libya destroyed nearly 15 tons of sulphur mustard, which represented approximately half of its stockpile. It received an extension to eliminate the rest by May 15 and twice-yearly inspections have found no evidence of the country reviving the chemical weapons program.
The persistence of significant pockets of Qaddafi resistance are delaying plans by the NTC to declare the entire country liberated, which is a necessary step before the beginning of ambitious reforms to create a free and democratic Libya.