Uranium that the IAEA had reported missing in Libya has been found
Libyan special forces in the south of the country are responsible for controlling entry points into the country.
One of two rival camps in a chaotic Libya announced on Thursday that it had found containers containing approximately 2.5 tonnes of natural uranium, which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had reported missing.
General Khaled Al-Mahjoub, commander of the communications directorate of the Libyan National Army (LNA) forces of eastern Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, posted on Facebook that the containers had been found barely five kilometers from where they were stored in the Sebha region in the south of the country.
He posted a video showing a man wearing a protective suit counting, in English, 18 barrels of blue color, representing all the uranium that was stored on the site.
The situation is under control. The IAEA has been informed, General Mahjoub told AFP.
We are aware of press reports that the material has been found, and the Agency is actively trying to verify them, reacted the IAEA in Vienna.
On Wednesday, the IAEA reported the disappearance of x27;about 2.5 tonnes of natural uranium from a site in Libya, according to a statement given to AFP.
During a visit on Tuesday, UN inspectors discovered that 10 containers with approximately 2.5 tonnes of natural uranium in the form of uranium concentrate [UOC, also called yellow cake] were not present where declared by the authorities, Director General Rafael Grossi wrote in a report to member states.
The risks of the disappearance of this uranium are limited, but not negligible, said a Western diplomat in Vienna at the time.
The disappearance of nuclear materials poses a problem of safeguards and nuclear security , especially since the site is not under the control of the regulatory authority in Libya, according to this source.
General Mahjoub claimed on Facebook that after the containers were found missing during a visit by IAEA inspectors, an LNA force found them barely a minute away. 5 km from the depot towards the Chadian border.
He estimated that the containers were stolen before being abandoned by a Chadian faction, believing that the containers were stolen. it was weapons or ammunition.
Claiming that the personnel in charge of monitoring the site were stationed at a certain distance to avoid exposure to radiation, General Mahjoub called on the IAEA to provide them with the necessary protective equipment so that x27;they can control it more closely.
Ensuring the protection of such a site requires a major international effort to prevent theft and trafficking to neighboring countries, a for his part declared a security source in the camp of Marshal Haftar.
Taking advantage of the chaos and porous borders, several Chadian and Sudanese factions have established their rear bases in southern Libya, neighboring their countries, to indulge in various trafficking.
La Libya has indeed been going through a major political crisis since the fall and assassination of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Two governments are vying for power, one based in Tripoli ( West) and recognized by the UN, and the other based in the East and supported by the camp of Marshal Haftar and the Parliament.
The UN envoy to Libya, the Senegalese Abdoulaye Bathily, on Saturday called on the rival Libyan camps to agree on the organization of presidential and legislative elections for x27;by mid-June, with the hope of holding them at the end of 2023, after the postponement of the elections initially scheduled for the end of 2021.
Gaddafi had given up his efforts in 2003 to acquire weapons of mass destruction, including the atomic bomb, but a major storage site for uranium concentrate had been discovered in the region of Sebha during the uprising in Libya which led to its fall.
After a visit to the site in December 2011, in an oasis in the middle of the desert, the IAEA had recommended the sale or the rapid transfer of the barrels of yellow cake, because it believed that the storage conditions were deteriorating and that the security of the site was not sufficient.
The agency, however, had except that these materials can be stolen due to the size and weight of the barrels.