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Blackwater tried to topple UN-backed Libyan govt: UN report

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Erik Prince, the founder of security firm Blackwater, violated a United Nations arms embargo on Libya by supporting Libyan rebel general Khalifa Haftar against the legitimate government, Anadolu News Agency quoted a confidential U.N. report as saying.

According to the report, delivered to the U.N. Security Council (UNSC), Blackwater tried twice to overthrow the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in 2019.

The confidential report to the Security Council stated that Prince sent foreign mercenaries and weapons to support Haftar against the GNA based in Tripoli. The mercenaries planned to form a team aimed at tracking down Libyan leaders and assassinating them, the report said.

Last December, the then-U.S. President Donald Trump granted clemency to four U.S. security contractors who worked for Blackwater and were convicted of killing Iraqi civilians in 2007.

The four U.S. security contractors opened unprovoked fire on the crowded square in 2007 in an incident that left at least 14 civilians dead - though Iraqi authorities put the toll as high as 17 - while wounding dozens more and deeply souring U.S.-Iraqi relations.

The Blackwater firm, whose name has since changed, was founded by former Navy SEAL Prince, who is also the brother of Betsy DeVos, who served as education secretary under Trump.

Oil-rich Libya has been torn by civil war since a NATO-backed uprising led to the toppling and killing of Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Gaddafi in 2011.

A new interim executive for the country was chosen Feb. 5 by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in Switzerland, comprising 75 participants selected by the U.N. to represent a broad cross-section of society.

The country has in recent years been split between a Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, and an eastern-based administration, backed by General Haftar, who has faced charges of war crimes.

Trump-Hafter phone talk

President Trump in 2019 praised General Haftar for his role in, what he called, "fighting terrorism" in Libya.

In April 2019, President Donald Trump spoke with Libyan general Khalifa Haftar, praising his role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya's vast oil resources even as Haftar's troops continue their offensive against the UN- and US-backed government in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, according to CNN.

Trump "recognized Field Marshal Haftar's significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya's oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya's transition to a stable, democratic political system," the White House said Friday, April 19, 2019, in its official readout of the call.

The statement made no mention of Haftar's offensive on Tripoli, and Trump's praise for the rogue Libyan general signals a departure from previous administration statements condemning Haftar's march on the capital, CNN pointed out.

Asked about the Trump-Haftar call, acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan said that the Pentagon "and the executive branch are well aligned on Libya," while emphasizing that "a military solution is not what Libya needs" when asked if the US backed Haftar's assault on Tripoli, according to CNN report.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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