The confused conflict in Libya has long become a proxy war. A secret mission of private western forces exposed by UN experts now illustrates how the chaotic country is becoming more and more a game ball.
New York (dpa) - UN experts have exposed a secret mission by private Western forces in Libya.
According to a confidential UN report that dpa was able to see, the group was made up of at least 20 people from Australia, France, Malta, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. Apparently, in support of the powerful General Chalifa Haftar, they were supposed to stop Turkish supply ships on the way to the capital Tripoli, off the Mediterranean coast of Libya, and thus intercept arms deliveries for the opposite side in the civil war.
In Libya, which has not come to rest since the death of the former long-term ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi, a power struggle is raging between the internationally recognized unitary government in Tripoli and General Haftar. Haftar announced an offensive on the capital more than a year ago. Since then, the conflict has increasingly become a proxy war. The United Nations has documented many violations of the arms embargo in force, including from Turkey, which supports the unity government. In addition, many foreign mercenaries operate in the country.
For the now unmasked mission from summer 2019, six military helicopters were smuggled from South Africa to Libya and two military boats from Malta, according to the report. The report names several companies based in the United Arab Emirates as the main responsible, but does not name their clients. The secret mission was canceled for an unknown reason just a few days after it started. Nothing is known about the actual attacks. The Emirates are seen as important supporters of Haftar in the civil war.