The fact that uranium has gone missing from Libya, especially at the same time as the expiration of the START treaty, raises eyebrows.
Libya uranium goes missing
Reports emerged on March 15 that caused a stir, as UN Nuclear Watchdog inspectors discovered that 2.5 tons of natural uranium had gone missing from a Libyan site, and this occurred in a region that is not under government control. The disappearance of the nuclear material raised concerns as it posed a radiological risk and nuclear security concerns.
As Libya is divided into two parts, with Abdul Hamid al-Dbeibeh on one side and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar on the other, and the 10 drums containing approximately 2.5 tons of natural uranium disappeared from the site that was not under government control, it was possible that the uranium was sold to Russia by Khalifa Haftar. He enjoys favorable relations with Russia and is also backed by the West’s arch-enemy in Libya. However, as the story unfolds, it turns out that the radioactive ore was stolen from a Libyan warehouse before it was abandoned near the border with Chad.
New reports indicate that the 2.5 tons of Uranium missing from a site in Libya have now been recovered by armed forces based in the country’s east, just one day after the UN’s nuclear agency sounded the alarm over the lost material. A media official for the Libyan National Army said that the ten missing barrels of uranium ore concentrate were found just 5 kilometers from the warehouse where they were originally stored in southern Libya, near the Chadian border.
It is worth noting that Chad enjoys strong relations with the US and is considered its ally. This is also why the African country has yet to face any US sanctions, despite its political instability.
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The LNA General’s speculation that rebels from Chad may have stolen the large blue drums from the warehouse raises questions about whether the US is pulling the strings from behind the curtains. Since the Russia-Ukraine war, the scramble for Africa’s resources has begun, and it is possible that the uranium stored in Haftar’s territory is now being eyed by the US.
Furthermore, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has stated that it is aware of the announcement from the LNA general and is still working to confirm the information. Though the LNA claimed that ten barrels were missing, a video shared by them appeared to show a total of 18 containers, according to Reuters. This discrepancy has led to further confusion.
However, as the IAEA conducts further investigations to determine how the uranium was removed from the warehouse, it may shed more light on the entire situation.
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