Russian mercenaries occupy Libyan oil terminals

Libya Refinery

Libya’s eastern warlord¬†Khalifa Haftar, his long siege of Tripoli broken by the city’s defenders in June, continues to hold the country’s principal oil terminals, and has established effective control over the¬†Petroleum Facilities Guard. The UN this week brokered a ceasefire between Haftar and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, seeking to re-open exports from the¬†terminals. Haftar agreed to the ceasefire after the US threatened sanctions against him. Russia, in turn, is apparently backing Haftar, sending arms and mercenaries to help his forces secure the terminals.¬†Russia’s¬†paramilitary¬†Wagner Group is especially said to be present at¬†Es-Sider terminal, outside the port city of Ras Lanuf. (Argus Media, Libyan Express, OilPrice.com, Middle East Eye)

The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said last month that it “has mounting evidence that Russia, through the Wagner Group, continues to position military equipment in Libya capable of conducting kinetic operations there.” The statement accused Russia of violating¬†UN Security Council Resolution 1970 by “actively providing military equipment and fighters to the front lines of the conflict in Libya.”¬†(Libya Observer)

See our last post on the struggle for Libya’s oil.

Photo via Libyan Express