Middle East

“Wagner” threatens Libya’s security and demands to punish it

Libyan Interior Minister Fathi Pashaga stressed, on Saturday, that the control of Russia‘s “Wagner” mercenaries on oil fields is a threat to his country’s national security, calling for punishment. 

This came in a series of tweets posted by Pashaga through “Twitter”, against the backdrop of the emergence of “Wagner” mercenaries in the Sharara oil field in southern Libya.

The Sharara field, the largest in the country, with an average daily production of 300,000 barrels, out of the total production of one million barrels per day in normal.

“The control of Wagner’s mercenaries over the Sharara field, accompanied by a group of Sudanese Janjaweed, is a dangerous precedent for foreign mercenaries controlling Libyan oil and controlling the country’s wealth,” Pashaga said.

He added that “this matter is a serious threat to Libyan national security and targets the interests of all American and European companies operating in the sector, which will be held hostage to unprecedented Russian control.”

Pashaga pointed to the complicity of an Arab state (unnamed) in the “crime of blocking Libyan oil supplies, because of its support for Haftar in his attack on Tripoli and its financing of Wagner’s mercenaries.”

The Libyan minister also called on the European Union to include the Russian “Wagner” company on the sanctions lists as a sponsor of terrorism for its “crimes against humanity”.

Pashaga stressed that the Libyan government “will not accept the control of Russian mercenaries over oil and military installations, because of this threat to national, regional and international security.”

On Friday, Washington expressed concern about the involvement of Wagner and foreign mercenaries against the facilities of the National Oil Corporation in Libya, including the Sharara field.

"Wagner" threatens Libya's security and demands to punish it

On Friday, the Libyan National Oil Corporation expressed concern about the presence of Russian “mercenaries” and other nationalities in the field.

The Foundation said in a statement that a convoy of dozens of military vehicles entered the Sharara field, on Thursday, to prevent the resumption of exports after a siege that lasted for months.

On June 7, the Sharara field resumed operation again, after a forced interruption of nearly 5 months, which resulted in a negative financial impact due to the closure.

In January, loyalists of Haftar closed the port of Zouitina (east), claiming that the oil sale money was used by the internationally recognized Libyan government.

The closure of oil production in Libya, the largest of which is the Sharara field, continued for 142 days, and the public treasury cost an estimated $ 5.269 billion.

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