The spokesperson of the US Department of State, Ned Price, said they thought it was important that the Libyan people had an opportunity to express their voices, to act on their aspirations at the ballot box, adding that they are working intently withy Libyan authorities, with the special representative of the secretary general, with their international allies and partners, to support that in every way we can.
Price adding in his daily press briefing on Friday that ultimately, the precise timing is going to have to be up to the Libyan people, but Washington thinks it is important that the Libyan people have a near-term opportunity this year to express their voice peacefully at the ballot box.
Answering a question on whether or not the Russian Wagner Group can hinder elections in Libya, Price said that wherever it is, whether it’s on the African continent, or in Ukraine, anywhere else where its tentacles have been able to take root, the US noticed that these countries often find themselves weaker, poorer, more insecure, less independent under the influence of Wagner.
“These are all influences that the United States in our engagement with these countries seek to counteract. We are taking action using authorities available to us to pursue the Wagner Group, to pursue its founder. Both the group and its founder are now subject to a number of sanctions and other authorities that we have imposed in an effort to counter the influence of the Wagner Group on the African continent, but everywhere else where it exists.” Price reiterated.
He explained that the US is working closely with its African partners, and European countries, to address these very destabilizing and rent-seeking activities that the Wagner Group undertakes, adding that it’ll continue to engage bilaterally with countries where the Wagner Group is present, but also multilaterally, knowing that this is a challenge that would benefit from international cooperation.