The United States has stepped up pressure on Middle East allies to expel the Wagner Group, a military contractor with close ties to Russia’s president, from chaos-stricken Libya and Sudan, where it expanded in recent years, regional officials told The Associated Press.
During his recent visit to Tripoli, CIA Director William Burns called for national unity and sounded the charge against the Russian mercenary group Wagner, which controls several oil fields in Libya.
The US Treasury Department will designate the Russian mercenary organization the Russian private military company “Wagner Group” as a “transnational criminal organization” and will impose additional sanctions next week against the group and its support network across the world, the White House said on Friday.
The UN envoy to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, said a meeting would be held in upcoming weeks with neighboring countries to southern Libya to discuss ways to remove mercenaries, indicating that important decisions had been taken regarding the mercenaries’ file, specifically with Sudan, Chad and Niger.
Maltese police has intercepted a group of British mercenaries last Saturday in the country, who were preparing to travel to Libya.
On 5 September, journalists John Lechner and S. Asher published an article entitled ‘Inside the Bloody Business of Turkey’s Syrian Mercenaries’ for The National Interest. In the article, they explain how following General Khalifa Haftar’s offensive against the Government of National Accord (GNA) in 2019, the GNA requested Turkish military …
Seven Sudanese rebel groups, including former Janjaweed forces, agreed to withdraw their forces from Libya at a meeting earlier this month.
The withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign forces out of Libya “will remain linked to the formation of an elected and representative Libyan government for all Libyans,” U.N. Advisor Stephanie Williams said on Monday.
Libya’s parliament-appointed Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha said on Wednesday his government supported removing all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya, guided by a committee set up to safeguard a ceasefire after the 2014-2020 conflict.
The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, has said that the presence of Wagner Group mercenaries in Libya is “on a commercial basis,” saying the private security company was invited by the authorities in Tobruk – referring to the House of Representatives.