24 June – 30 June: Foreign mercenaries enter Sharara oilfield

Jul 2, 2020 | International actors

On 25 June, a convoy of Russian and other foreign mercenaries entered Sharara oilfield and met with representatives of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG). The National Oil Corporation (NOC) said that it was “deeply concerned” by the presence of these mercenaries. NOC chairman Mustafa Sanallah said he completely rejects attempts by foreign countries to prevent the resumption of oil production, stressing that many countries are directly benefiting from the absence of Libyan oil from global markets. On 26 June, the US Embassy reiterated full US support for the NOC amid an “unprecedented foreign-backed campaign to undermine Libya’s energy sector “and prevent the resumption of oil production.

On 26 June, French President Emmanuel Macron had a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin where the two discussed Libya and agreed to work to facilitate a ceasefire and a return to dialogue in the country. According to Macron, Putin had stated that Russian private military contractor (PMC) Wagner Group – which is active in Libya- were not representative of Russia, but Macron responded by condemning the actions which are carried out by Wagner forces in Libya and Putin’s ‘ambivalence’ to their actions. Macron also denied backing the Libyan National Army (LNA), saying France is in favour of finding a ‘political solution.’

On 24 June, the US State Department met virtually with the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Ministry of Interior to discuss the demobilisation of armed groups.According to an official statement by the State Department, ‘The end of the siege of Tripoli has created a renewed opportunity and an imperative to address militias, in the west and in the east of Libya.’  It added that the GNA MoI briefed them on efforts to promote security and a programme for militia disarmament, demobilisation and re-integration (DDR).It also said that as part of continued US engagement with all sides, the US delegation will convene a similar conversation with LNA representatives.

On 25 June, France, Italy and Germany released a joint statement calling for an end to foreign interference in Libya, respect for the UN arms embargo, and for ‘all Libyan parties to immediately and unconditionally cease fighting,’ in an effort to restart political dialogue.