The Sydney Morning Herald / Fairfax Media via Getty Images
(AUSTRALIA OUT) A drum of yellowcake at ERA’s Ranger uranium mine, 31 August 2006. SMH Picture GLENN CAMPBELL (Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images)
INTERNATIONAL – Less than 24 hours after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported missing natural uranium containers at a site in Libya, a general in the Libyan eastern camp’s armed forces has announced that They had finally been found this Thursday, March 16.
It is General Khaled al-Mahjoub, commander of the direction of the communication forces of the strongman of the East of Libya, Khalifa Haftar, who indicated, video in support on his Facebook page, that the containers were found at “barely five kilometers” from the site where they were stored, in the region of Sebha in southern Libya.
He published a video showing a man wearing a protective suit counting, in English, 18 blue containers, representing all the uranium that was stored on the site. “The situation is under control, the IAEA has been informed”General Mahjoub told AFP.
The containers reported missing from a site in Libya by the IAEA @iaeaorg, have been found, according to the…
— Chief Daira 𓂀 (@ChiefDaira)
In his Facebook post, General Mahjoub claimed that“an armed ANL force found them barely five kilometers from the depot towards the Chadian border”.
He also estimated that the containers had been stolen before being abandoned “by a Chadian faction, believing that it was weapons or ammunition”. 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.
The IAEA reported on Wednesday the disappearance of these 2.5 tons of natural uranium. It was during a visit on Tuesday that inspectors from the UN body “discovered that 10 containers with approximately 2.5 tons of natural uranium in the form of uranium concentrate (UOC, also called ‘yellow cake’ ) were not present where they were declared by the authorities”Director-General Rafael Grossi wrote in a report to UN member states.
The IAEA said it would investigate “complementary” pour “clarify the circumstances of the disappearance of this nuclear material and its current location”. Especially since this inspection was originally supposed to take place last year, but had to be postponed due to the delicate context in Libya: indeed, the site in question “is not under the control of the government” recognized by the UN.
The IAEA therefore has no choice but to regularly monitor “through the analysis of satellite images and freely available information”. And it was in view of the results of these analyzes that she wanted to go there “despite a worrying security situation in the region and complex logistics” to get there.
Since its fall in 2011 after 42 years of dictatorship, Libya has been mired in a major political crisis, with rival powers based in East and West, a myriad of militias, mercenaries scattered around the country, against a backdrop of foreign interference.
Two governments are thus vying for power, one based in Tripoli (west) and recognized by the UN, the other supported by the strongman of eastern Libya, Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
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