Washington accused, on Wednesday, mercenaries of the Russian Ministry of Defense of fighting with the forces of General Khalifa Haftar, in Libya.
This came in a session of the UN Security Council, held by videoconference at the United Nations headquarters in New York, on the developments of the Libyan crisis.
The US permanent representative to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, said in her testimony that “there is no place for foreign mercenaries or proxy forces in Libya”.
She explained, “Including the Wagner Group of the Russian Ministry of Defense, which fights alongside and supports the Libyan National Army (Haftar’s militia)”.
It called on all parties to fulfill the commitments they made at the Berlin Conference (held in early 2020), to immediately suspend military operations, and to stop the continuous transfer of fighters and foreign military equipment to Libya.
And considered that “Libya is at a critical juncture, and respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity should remain guiding principles for the international community”.
Kraft added, “Therefore, we oppose any plans aimed at dividing them or occupying them or imposing a foreign political settlement on the Libyans”.
And she believed that “a political solution will remain elusive as long as foreign backers on both sides continue to fuel the conflict”.
For his part, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebezia, responded to the statements of his American counterpart, denying the accusation leveled against his country.
He said in his testimony during the same session: “We have repeatedly confirmed that there is not a single Russian soldier currently in the combat zone in Libya”.
“They spread accusations about the so-called Russian involvement in Libya, while turning a blind eye to their military presence, providing weapons to various armed groups and training them through private military companies in both western and eastern Libya”.
And Saturday, the Libyan army announced that it had detected a column of armed mercenaries that arrived from the east to the city of Hoon in the al Jafra municipality, in the center of the country, and gathered in three schools.
In a statement, he said, the armed columns “consist of a mixture of Janjaweed mercenaries, Wagner gangs, Syrians and Yemenis, on board 112 armed vehicles and ammunition cars, and they are supporters of Haftar’s terrorist militia”.