LNA General Command: Uranium drums reported missing by IAEA found 5 km away from their previous warehouse

Alwasat - Cairo Thu 16 Mar 2023, 04:47 PM
alwasat radio

The Libyan National Army's General Command announced that the uranium drums reported missing by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been found “in an area only about five kilometers from their warehouse, towards the Chadian border."

The Director of the General Command's Moral Guidance Department, Major General Khaled Al-Mahjoub, released a video of the found drums on Thursday.

He said the site where the uranium drums were located in southern Libya was visited in 2020 by members of IAEA and the existing stocks were “inventoried and the warehouse door was closed with red wax,” at the time.

Al-Mahjoub said that at the time and based on coordination with the IAEA delegation and the danger of these materials, "it was agreed to assign female guards to preserve them." 

"The agency pledged to provide for the needs of the female guards, which include special clothes, masks, and other items, to protect those assigned against diseases caused by this substance, such as paralysis, sterility, and other illnesses.”

He expressed his regret at the failure of the IAEA to provide for the needs of the guards as the capabilities are not available on the Libyan side due to a ban on the Libyan army.

Reuters Report

Reuters reported on Wednesday that "U.N. nuclear watchdog inspectors found that roughly 2.5 tons of natural uranium have gone missing from a Libyan site that is not under government control."

IAEA inspectors "found that 10 drums containing approximately 2.5 tons of natural uranium in the form of UOC (uranium ore concentrate) previously declared by (Libya) ... as being stored at that location were not present at the location," the watchdog told member states in a statement on Wednesday seen by the news organization.

The finding is the result of an inspection originally planned for last year that "had to be postponed because of the security situation in the region" and was finally carried out on Tuesday, according to the confidential statement by International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi.

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