UN report reveals Maltese arms dealer's involvement in Libyan conflict

Alwasat - Cairo 3 days
alwasat radio

A new UN Security Council report has revealed a Maltese arms dealers involvement in the Libyan conflict, with vessels owned the individual transporting "mercenaries" to Libya.

The arms dealer James Fenech denied the accusations, saying he had no knowledge of the use of his vessels in such activities, but investigations showed that he was in "technical noncompliance" with the UN arms embargo on Libya, according to the report published by The Times of Malta on Tuesday.

Fenech provided two boats to evacuate a "team of private military contractors" from Benghazi to the Maltese capital Valletta in 2019.

Four others face criminal charges in Malta related to circumventing EU sanctions by supplying Libyan nationals with "rubber boats".

The report by the Security Council provided details of the operation to be carried out by these mercenaries in the midst of clashes between the forces of opposing forces on the outskirts of Tripoli.

The committee of experts on Libya monitored the operation, dubbed Project Opus, which included "military support through an attack helicopter, reconnaissance and spy equipment," it said.

According to the report, the team was tasked with carrying out "kidnappings and liquidation" of "high-value" targets in Libya, and its elements were transported from Jordan and Valletta in June 2019.

But the report indicates that by the end of the month, it was decided to evacuate the team of 20 military personnel from Benghazi to Valletta; due to disagreements over the aircraft purchased for operations, using boats owned by James Fenech.

Fenech's company had once partnered with Eric Prince on a project that was reportedly to produce and sell ammunition.

A 2007 European Parliament report found that Malta was, at the time, the operating base of Prince's private mercenary company, formerly known as Blackwater.

The UN report raises questions about whether Prince tried to use his ties to the Trump administration in order to carry out the planning process to form a group to "pursue and kill Libyan military leaders during the war in Tripoli."

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