A new independent report details multiple embargo breaches by international actors, as Libya’s rival governments, build up their militaries and face off around the city of Sirte.

Words By Oliver Mizzi

An independent report given to the UN security council by sanctions monitors this month has accused Turkey, Russia, the UAE, Jordan and Qatar of breaching the UN arms embargo that has been imposed on Libya since 2011. 

The report’s key findings detail the extent of Russia’s involvement in Libya, which has been supporting Khalifa Haftar. The report stated that Russia had conducted 338 flights from Syria to Libya between 1 November 2019 to 31 July 2020. 

The Russian government has denied all involvement in the conflict so far with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stating “no facts have ever been presented” in accusations about Russia’s involvement.

The US has also accused Russia of intervening in Libya.  Africom commander General Stephen Townsend accused Russia of deploying military aircraft such as MiG-29s, Su-24s and the state-backed private military company ‘Wagner Group’ to “tip the scales in its favour”. 

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

The UAE and Jordan have previously faced accusations of supporting Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in his campaigns against the Government of National Accord in Libya by sending military equipment and mercenaries. Likewise, Qatar has worked with Turkey in supporting the GNA, contributing its own military advisors alongside Turkey’s. 

Turkey, which has been the GNA’s main international Patreon, has also used drones and Turkish backed Syrian rebels to support the government.  The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported that nearly 18,000 Syrians have been deployed to Libya by Turkey since its intervention began.

The continued military build-up in and around Sirte which is at an important halfway point between both governments administrative capitals of Tripoli and Tobruk leaves the conflict ongoing. 

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