Libya: UN, ISIS has widened control over territory

Foreign fighters also from Europe across Tunisia, Sudan

11 March, 12:20

    Isis fighters in Sirte Isis fighters in Sirte

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, MARCH 11 - The political void in Libya ''is exploited by ISIS, which has significantly widened its control across the territory'', UN Security Council experts have written in a report. The jihadists have recruited fighters in Sirte, in particular ''marginalized elements after Gaddafi's ouster''. In Tripoli and Sabratha, ISIS has grown stronger also thanks to the inflow of foreign fighters, including ''several Europeans'', coming in particular from Tunisia, Sudan and Turkey, according to experts.

    According to the report, a deluge of weapons, including heavy artillery, Mi-8 combat helicopters and Mig-21F jets are being trafficked towards Libya, violating an embargo, practically feeding all factions, from Tobruk to Tripoli. The documents in particular points its finger against two US firms, the UAE and Egypt, as well as networks of traffickers made up by single individuals, including several Italians, and some Ukrainian and Turkish firms.

    ''The continued violations have a negative impact on security in Libya and the political transition: factions that are better armed could be less inclined to accept the ceasefires or authorities of the future national unity government'', warned the experts.

    According to UN experts, Franco Giorgi, the 72-year-old from Ascoli stranded in Tripoli since March last year, is being ''held'' over an arms trafficking case towards the North African country, in violation with an international embargo.

    Giorgi's name, experts said, emerged in an investigation involving Abdurraouf Eshati, a Libyan sentenced to a six-year jail term in the UK for trafficking weapons worth 28.5 million dollars for the Zintan militia. Giorgi, reportedly the network's ''main Italian mediator'', ''received a first installment of money, which he claim was stolen from him''. In March 2015, he travelled to Tripoli, ''probably to discuss the problem with clients'', and has been ''held'' ever since. (ANSAmed)

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