Libya: Russian mercenary company reportedly tried to bring back Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi to power – Bloomberg
Russian company Wagner Group, one of the suppliers of mercenaries to Libya, has worked with Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi, the most prominent son of the late Libyan leader, in an attempt to bring him to power, Bloomberg revealed last week.
The US media revealed the connection between the Russian company, known close to Moscow and to Saif Al-Islam, after it saw notes taken by the Russians on their meetings with Qaddafi. The Russians were arrested in Tripoli, Bloomberg News said.
The Government of National Accord (GNA) last year arrested in Tripoli two Russian agents working for the Wagner Group, in possession of some documents stored in the computers.
The documents according to the GNA revealed three meetings between Saif al Islam and the agents.
In one document, Saif Al-Islam reportedly produced proofs of his father’s financial aid for election campaigns in some Western countries as a trump card.
Moscow according to the documents offered to present Saif Al-Islam, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes during the 2011 NATO-backed revolution that toppled his father’s regime, as a rising actor in the country in a possible election.
Several media outlets revealed last year Saif al Islam’s plans to run for presidential election in the war-torn African country.
The man one-time seen as the heir of power, reportedly claimed in one of the meetings that 80% of the fighters loyal to east-based rebel Gen. Khalifa Haftar are his supporters and that if Haftar captured the capital, those fighters would support Saif Al-Islam, according to the notes of Russian agents.
According to the notes of the last meeting seen by Bloomberg, Saif Al-Islam would give to Russians the list of commanders loyal to him in the next meeting.
One of Saif al-Islam’s advisors who attended the meetings, according to Bloomberg, said Saif Al-Islam and his supporters wanted to develop good relations with Western countries, on top of which Russia, which was the first to help them.
Russian polling showed that after years of civil war, nostalgia for the old regime was strong and that Saif Al-Islam was among Libya’s most popular politicians.
Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), endorsed by Egypt, Russia, UAE, Jordan Saudi Arabia and France, and GNA, backed by Qatar, Turkey, and Italy, have been fighting for the control of the country. Haftar in April last year launched a military offensive to seize Tripoli and oust the GNA.