US warns of possible sanctions in Libya to remove Wagner


US deputy secretary of state Barbara Leaf visited Libya this week and said U.N. envoy Abdoulaye Bathily’s new political push was “an excellent opportunity” to move towards elections this year.

Her comments though fly in the face of a commonly held belief that the UN envoy’s efforts have put back the date of any presidential election, with many experts deeply skeptical that the US genuinely wants the elections in the first place.

She met Libyan leaders “to convey very forthrightly our expectations,” she said.

Despite scepticism after years of failed efforts to get Libyan political leaders to accept elections that might end their power, she said Bathily had “eyes wide open” about the challenges.

Unlike in the past, the international community was more aligned over Libya, she said, and while there was no push yet for sanctions against spoilers, “that might come eventually”, reports Reuters.

Elections and a unified government in Libya with full sovereignty were also the best way to eject the Russian Wagner group, which has been operating in Libya in alliance with the eastern forces.

The group abuses Libyan sovereignty and destabilises the Sahel region, Leaf said, adding it essentially uses Libya “as a roadway to get to Central Africa and plunder its resources”.


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