Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Monday called for an immediate cease-fire to end the almost decadelong Libyan civil war and said Moscow sought for the conflict to be resolved through dialogue.
Although Fayez Sarraj, head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), and Aguila Saleh Issa, a Haftar ally and speaker of Libya's eastern-based House of Representatives, announced a cease-fire on Aug. 21, militias loyal to putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar have continued to disturb the fragile peace.
Oil-rich Libya was thrown into chaos after veteran dictator Moammar Gadhafi was ousted in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.
Rival administrations and militias have been vying for power ever since, increasingly drawing in foreign interests and threatening the region's stability.
While Haftar is supported by Russia, France, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt, the legitimate Libyan government enjoys U.N.-backing as well as the support of Turkey and Qatar.
Though Russia has been calling for dialogue, a new U.N. report brought to light last week that Moscow's support for Libya’s putschist general had enhanced.
Some 70 resupply flights have landed in eastern airports in support of Haftar's so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) since July 8, Stephanie Williams, deputy head of the U.N. Support Mission in Libya told the U.N. Security Council (UNSC).
Though the envoy did not name any countries by name, a U.N. report revealed that Russia had stepped up its logistic support for the private military contractor Wagner Group in Libya with some 338 military cargo flights from Syria in the nine months leading up to July 31 to aid Wagner fighters backing Haftar.
The U.N. report seen by Reuters last Wednesday assessed "that direct Russian Federation military logistic support to ChVK Wagner, and possibly the other Russian Federation based private military companies ... significantly increased from January to June 2020."
It listed some 338 "suspicious flights from Syria by Russian Federation military aircraft" to Libya between Nov. 1, 2019, and July 31, 2020.
In a confidential May report, sanctions monitors said that the Russia-based Wagner Group had up to 1,200 people deployed in Libya.