Russian private military contractor Wagner Group has up to 1,200 people deployed in Libya, strengthening the militias of Khalifa Haftar, according to a confidential United Nations report seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
The 57-page report by independent sanctions monitors, submitted to the U.N. Security Council Libya sanctions committee, said the Russian contractor deployed forces in specialized military tasks, including sniper teams.
The sanctions monitors said that while they could not independently verify the scale of the deployment to Libya by Wagner Group, “based on open source reporting and the limited sightings assesses that the maximum number of individual private military operatives deployed to be no more than 800 to 1,200.”
“Their deployment has acted as an effective force multiplier for Haftar,” the sanctions monitors wrote.
The monitors also listed the details of 122 Wagner operatives of “whom many are highly probably operational, or have been operational, within Libya.”
They said 39 were from Wagner’s specialist sniper group and the remaining 83 operatives were from Wagner combat units.
The report said forces affiliated with the Government of National Accord had captured arms “typical of the weaponry observed being used by ChVK Wagner operatives elsewhere in eastern Ukraine and Syria.”
They are also investigating social media reports that a six-month contract between Wagner and Haftar ended on Oct. 15 last year and accusations that by this time Hafter had only paid half of the more $173 million owed.
Libya Alahrar TV channel’s correspondent in Al-Zawiya city has reported that one person is killed and another is injured after they have been shot at