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Destabilising Libya: A Cause for Concern

International observers are sounding the alarm about an alliance between Russian mercenaries and a Libyan militia, which they say imperils civilians and risks intensifying Libya’s civil war. In recent weeks, forces loyal to Libyan General Khalifa Haftar have retreated from neighborhoods surrounding Tripoli. In their wake, human rights groups and the U.S. military say they left behind Russian-made landmines — many of them planted in residential neighborhoods. The U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM, and independent analysts accuse mercenaries with the Wagner Group, a private Russian company, of being behind the mines. Late last month, AFRICOM said in a tweet that Russia and the Wagner Group continue to be involved in both ground and air operations in Libya and that Russia continues to play an unhelpful role in Libya by delivering supplies and equipment to the Wagner Group. Russia is also accused of printing billions of counterfeit Libyan dinars to finance Haftar’s army and undermine the overall Libyan economy by causing inflation.