UN Special Envoy: Libyan mercenaries pose a threat to the entire North Africa conflict news

The United Nations Special Envoy for Libya warned the Security Council that progress on the key issue of the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libya has stalled, and their continued existence poses a threat not only to Libya but also to the North African region.

Jan Kubis said on Friday that the recent disturbing incident in neighboring Chad is a reminder of the link between the security situation in Libya and the security and stability of the region. The rebellion was the chief culprit in the murder of President Idriss Deby last month.

He said: “The high mobility of armed groups and terrorists and economic migrants and refugees, usually through channels manipulated by organized criminal networks and other local actors on uncontrolled borders, will only intensify further aggravation in Libya and the region. The risks of turbulence and insecurity,” he said.

Kubis said that the United Nations Mission in Libya (known as UNSMI) reported that “the continued existence of foreign elements, mercenaries and assets has strengthened the division of Libya”.

Since the NATO-backed uprising toppled long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has fallen into chaos. Armed groups and foreign governments.

In April 2019, with the support of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, the commander Khalifa Haftar and his troops stationed in the east launched an offensive in an attempt to occupy Tripoli. After Turkey strengthened its support for the UN-approved government, his 14-month campaign failed. Turkey provided advanced military equipment, troops and thousands of Syrian mercenaries.

The October ceasefire led to the formation of a coalition interim government, which came to power in March. Its task is to convene a divided country and lead the country in the December 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.

“Efforts to Build Trust”

Regarding the UN arms embargo against Libya, UN experts recently reported that it has been violated. Kubis said the United Nations mission continues to receive reports of weapons and military supplies arriving at military bases in the west, east and south.

He said that UNSMI also continued to receive reports on the establishment of fortifications and defensive positions on the Sirte-Jufrah axis, as well as air force training activities.

Kubis said that UNSMIL also reported that progress in opening a road from the strategic city of Sirte has stalled. Sirte is the gateway to the country’s main oil fields and export terminals.

He warned: “Further delays in reopening roads are not conducive to efforts to build trust between the two countries and may undermine efforts to promote the implementation of the ceasefire agreement and promote political transition.”

Kubis said the October truce, which required mercenaries and foreign fighters to leave within 90 days, is still being held, but failure to get them to leave may affect Libya’s political transition and December elections.

He said: “Therefore, it is vital to plan and ensure the orderly departure of foreign fighters, mercenaries and armed groups, as well as their disarmament, demobilization and reintegration in their countries of origin.”

Thousands of fighters

The United Nations estimated in December that there are at least 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries in Libya, including Syrians, Russians, Sudanese and Chadians. The diplomat said that at an informal council meeting in late April, the spokesperson said there were more than 20,000, including 13,000 Syrians and 11,000 Sudanese.

In mid-April, the Security Council voted to send up to 60 international observers to the UN Political Mission in Libya to monitor the ceasefire and the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign fighters.

Kubis said that the New York United Nations Secretariat and the Libyan Mission are planning to initially deploy five observers in Tripoli.

He said that the ceasefire agreement requires all military units and armed groups to return to their camps. At the same time, all mercenaries and foreign fighters should also depart from Libya.

“Based on this, a limited number of mercenaries were withdrawn to Benghazi [in the east] Tripoli [in the west] Then deport him, and you can start an orderly and orderly withdrawal of foreign mercenaries, combatants and foreign troops,” Kubis said.

He said that this method requires a plan and a timetable, and that “the foreign forces related to the mercenaries and foreign forces in Libya agree”.

Earlier this month, Najla al-Manqoush, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Libyan Provisional Government, called on foreign troops and The mercenaries evacuated.

Cavusoglu replied that the Turkish army in Libya was part of the training agreement reached with the previous government of Libya. He said: “Some people equate our legal existence with…foreign mercenary groups fighting for money in this country.”

On the positive side, Kubis said, “The security situation in Libya “has been significantly improved, despite the competition between armed militias for influence and access and control of territory and resources from time to time.”

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