6 February – 12 February: US accused Russia of attempting to increase presence in Libya

Feb 12, 2019 | International actors

On 9 February, US AFRICOM commander Thomas Waldhauser accused Russia of attempting to increase its presence in Libya for the purpose of accessing oil and exploiting arms sales. This followed reports from the Russian Tsargrad TV network on 7 February claiming that the head of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar, had requested Russia to establish a military base in Benghazi. However, the LNA has denied this.

On 9 February, the UN Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, held several side meetings on Libya at the African Union Summit in Addis Abaaba, Ethiopia. Salame, along with UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres and other North African representatives, discussed the situation in Libya. They reiterated support for the UN-led political process and the role of other states in assisting Libyan stability while maintaining a non-interference stance.

On 11 February, House of Representative members met with the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Libya, Frank Baker, in Tobruk. The meeting involved the discussion of upcoming elections, the draft constitution, illegal migration, the LNA’s southern operations, and the possibility of lifting the arms embargo on Libya.