The number of foreign mercenaries in Libya has dropped, due to the war in Ukraine, a UN expert was quoted as saying by dpa on Monday.
Saloka Beyani said on Monday that “a market has been found elsewhere”. A Zambian-British legal expert is gathering evidence of human rights abuses in Libya on a panel of experts serving at the UN Human Rights Council.
According to Beyani, the number of mercenaries in the Russian Wagner group also decreased. The private security firm is considered the shadow army of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has denied any involvement.
According to the British special services, Moscow was forced to direct Wagner’s staff mainly to the invasion of Ukraine, which would harm operations in Africa and Syria.
However, according to Bayani and his team’s report, not all foreign fighters have left Libya. UN experts say mercenaries are perpetuating the conflict in the country and may be breaking international rules to protect civilians.
Libya has been in turmoil since the overthrow of Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2011.
Several militias are fighting for power and influence, and other countries, including Russia and Turkey, have joined the conflict in recent years. The UN estimated at the end of 2020 that there were about 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries in Libya.
Author: Liviu Kojan
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