US AFRICOM: Russia and its Wagner mercenaries complicating ceasefire efforts in Libya

US AFRICOM: Russia and its Wagner mercenaries complicating ceasefire efforts in Libya

July 15, 2020 - 20:52
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement on Wednesday that it "has clear evidence that Russian employed, state-sponsored Wagner Group laid landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in and around Tripoli".

AFRICOM added that such actions by Russia further violate the United Nations arms embargo and endanger the lives of innocent Libyans.

"Verified photographic evidence shows indiscriminately placed booby-traps and minefields around the outskirts of Tripoli down to Sirte since mid-June. These weapons are assessed to have been introduced into Libya by the Wagner Group." The statement reads.

The director of operations of AFRICOM, General Bradford Gering said the Russian-state sponsored Wagner Group is demonstrating a total disregard for the safety and security of Libyans, adding that Wagner Group’s irresponsible tactics are prolonging conflict and are responsible for the needless suffering and the deaths of innocent civilians, and that Russia has the power to stop them, "just not the will.”

"Russia’s introduction of landmines, booby traps, attack aircraft, and their continued support of the 2000-person strong Wagner Group in Libya changes the nature of the current conflict and intensifies the potential risk to non-combatants." AFRICOM explained.

In the meantime, AFRICOM’s director of intelligence, Heidi Berg, said their intelligence reflects continued and unhelpful involvement by Russia and Wagner Group, whose reckless use of landmines and booby-traps are harming innocent civilians.