UN experts: Foreign fighters' presence still poses serious threat to Libya

UN experts: Foreign fighters' presence still poses serious threat to Libya

December 01, 2021 - 20:47
Posted in:
Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

United Nations experts said foreign fighters, mercenaries and large amounts of arms remain in Libya, posing a threat to its stability as it is headed toward elections next month.

The UN experts said although the opposing sides in Libya have asked foreign fighters to leave the country, the experts say they are “maintaining foreign fighters among their forces, including nationals from Chad, Sudan and Syria as well as from Russian private military companies.”

The experts added in a confidential report, cited by Agence France-Presse (AFP), that fewer violations of the arms embargo on Libya have occurred this year as compared with 2020, but the “continuing presence” of foreign fighters is “still a serious threat.”

“Based on the 2020 transfers, arms stockpiles remain high and sufficient to sustain any future conflict,” the experts said, adding that the control of the supply chains by some member states continues, thus significantly hindering detection, disruption or interdiction” of arms deliveries.

“While the intense pace of delivery of banned weapons has abated, the arms embargo remains totally ineffective,” the experts tasked with monitoring the embargo said in an interim confidential report recently given to the Security Council.

Experts said Russian military flights to eastern Libya, used by Moscow as transit ahead of flights to Central Africa Republic, dropped by 55% and the Turkish Army flights to Libya decreased by 64%, while Syrian Cham Wings' flights to and from Libya increased by 71%, which the report said could be related to replacing foreign fighters.