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Trump ally, Blackwater founder, violated UN arms embargo on Libya

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 19, 2020, a fighter with Libya's UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) fires rockets from a position near the town of Garabulli toward the city of Tarhuna, southwest of the capital Tripoli, held by the forces of the Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar.

A confidential UN report reveals Eric Prince, the founder and former head of the notorious Blackwater private security firm, has violated an arms embargo on Libya by sending mercenaries and weapons to support Libyan Renegade general Khalifa Haftar.

The report, obtained by the New York Times, details how Mr Prince, a close ally of former US President Donald Trump, deployed heavily armed foreign troops to Eastern Libya to assist Khalifa Haftar, in the middle of an attack, to capture Tripoli in 2019.

According to the UN, the $80 million operation included plans for the mercenaries to assassinate selected Libyan commanders. The report raises questions about possible ties between the operation and the Trump administration.

Prince did not cooperate with the UN investigation and has rejected having anything to do with the military operations in Libya. However, the report exposes him to possible UN sanctions.

Well, it's all the same thing. That it broke the law and he was told to do it. I mean, it doesn't really make much of a difference in fact the laws or international law and laws are meaningless to the United States.

In 2011, when the US led the NATO bombing to destroy the Libyan Government and the government there, and for regime change, that was against international law but it didn't mean (anything to the US).

So they break international law, at a time when they level sanctions against countries, these are violations of international law. And so, you know, its par for the course. It's very telling though, that they are.. that they will be doing this ... having this use of mercenaries.

Netfa Freeman, Pan-African Community Action, Washington

Since 2014, two rival seats of power have emerged in Libya, namely the internationally recognised government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, and another group based in the eastern city of Tobruk supported militarily by troops loyal to Haftar.

A damning 120 page UN report on Blackwater's contract in Libya brings to light another instance of military intervention by Washington linked private security companies in the internal affairs of countries around the world.

In recent years, there has been a surge in the activity of guns for hire in countries like Yemen, Nigeria, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the mercenaries have capabilities and equipment on par with elite US troops.

Blackwater is not an exception

But Blackwater is not the only such American firm that is active in conducting high level overseas operations.

In May, Venezuela arrested 13 individuals charged with planning an operation in the capital of Caracas, two of whom were American nationals.

The US mercenaries admitted that they were arrested during a failed attempt to raid the Presidential Palace and seize President Nicolas Maduro.

We had a casual conversation; I guess you could call it a verbal contract, giving me some vague mission guidelines on training Venezuelans coming here and putting Maduro on a plane.

Detained US Mercenary, Caracas

The mercenaries said they had been working with Jordan Goudreau, an American military veteran who leads a Florida based security company called Silver Corp, USA.

The measures that the United States will take for regime change, to advance their interests, very obscene, immoral measures are revealed all the time with the reason why they like to use mercenaries, and a lot of these things and what they do, and then the Academy Akademi or this group that used to be Blackwater, has got, you know, notoriety for doing things that at last gave the United States plausible denial.

Netfa Freeman, Pan-African Community Action, Washington

The involvement of the US backed troops in these countries wasn't the first, and certainly won't be the last, time it happens.

But does the growing number of operations indicate that the US is opting for a more indirect means of intervening in other nations affairs?


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