Middle East Monitor website said Wednesday that Russian Wagner Group mercenaries, estimated at about 2000, continue to operate in eastern and southern Libya backed by fighter planes sent by Russia.
The UK-based website added that so far, Moscow is unwilling to consider the withdrawal of the forces which support Khalifa Haftar and the possibility of leaving a country that has the largest provable oil reserves in Africa.
“The arrival of a delegation of UN observers to the Libyan city of Sirte indicates that UN peacekeepers may be sent to the ceasefire zone between Sirte and Jufra.” The website added.
Meanwhile, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) announced on March 04 the arrival of a “small advance 10-member team to Libya” to set up a ceasefire monitoring mechanism, collect information requested by the UN Security Council and submit a report to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
According to the website, Wagner group withdrew some of its forces from Sirte and Jufra to adjacent areas following internal and local pressure to appear as though it had pulled out of the region before it became clear that those mercenaries were still tightening their control over the area.
“The Russian security company is not just a military company, but rather a tool used by the Russian Defense Ministry as part of a strategy to extend Moscow’s influence worldwide under the guise of hybrid warfare”. The website indicated.