The “Wagner” mercenaries brought by Haftar; to fight with him in his aggression against Tripoli, are still present in Sirte, the ports of Sidra and Ras Lanuf, and they occupy the Al-Jufra air base, and have even established military fortifications around the base, according to what some recent press reports have shown, and it does not seem that the military arm of the Russians in Libya will leave soon, according to the position on the ground .
The UN envoy to Libya, Stephanie Williams, revealed that the Libyan parties participating in the talks of the Military Commission “5 + 5” have decided that the mercenaries would leave the country within 90 days if they agree to a ceasefire under the supervision of the United Nations.
Williams said, in an interview with the Russian “Sputnik” agency, that the fate of mercenaries and foreign forces in Libya will be one of the items in the joint military committee’s dialogue, related to the ceasefire, in addition to dismantling militias, rehabilitating and integrating militants into security institutions.
An official in the Presidential Council stated that negotiations between Turkey and Russia regarding the withdrawal from Sirte had stopped, because of the intransigence of the Russians.
As for the American position, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently announced that the United States had targeted a network linked to the head of the “Wagner” group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, working to strengthen Russian influence in Libya, this announcement coincided with the fall of a helicopter carrying Wagner mercenaries and ammunition near the city of Sukna near Al Jufra.
Writer and journalist Abdullah Al-Kabeer believes that the exit or curtailment of the presence of the Wagner depends on the extent of their response to the American messages, adding, “I do not imagine their departure without their conviction that the cost of their existence has become high or that they receive compensation commensurate with the size of their losses and ensure all their political and economic interests.”
In a statement to Arraed, Al-Kabeer explained that it is clear that Turkey’s negotiations with Russia have reached a dead end and that they have not reached an agreement on the exit of Wagner from Sirte, Al Jufra and the oil facilities, and it seems that Russia still wants more gains, and this is what prompted the Americans to use limited force by shooting down Wagner’s helicopter in Sokna According to him.
An obstacle to settlement
As for the writer and blogger Faraj Farkash, he said, according to the “local” reports, which confirmed that the Russians are continuing to strengthen their presence, especially in the south – the Brak Al-Shati base, as well as the recent statements of a member of the Presidential Council Amari Zayed, we believe that the issue may still be ongoing and there will be no exit for them soon.
Farkash added in a statement to Arraed that the Russian reinforcement would be an obstacle to any upcoming understandings, calling for making Sirte a demilitarized city, as the GNA, Aqeela Saleh, the UN mission and Western countries demanded.
Lawyer Faisal al-Shareif believes that many of the reasons that led to Russia being the main actor in Libya, by controlling energy sources and several military bases inside Libya and possessing advanced warplanes, make the speaker of its exit a mere dreamer who wants someone else to dream with him.
Al-Shareif added in a post on his personal page that without a strong will from America, the scene will not witness the settlement easily, and in the event that the level of the Turkish alliance recedes, the matter will not be promising, as he put it.
Do we see a more firm and clear American stance against the effective Russian presence on the ground, and does this Russian presence impede the political talks that are taking place now in Switzerland and Morocco, especially ahead of the US presidential elections in November?