18 mar 2023 06:15 am
The uranium ore concentrate reported missing by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Wednesday has apparently turned up again. According to the Libyan National Army (LNA), the uranium ore concentrate was found just five kilometers from the original storage site.
Around 2.5 tons of uranium, which had been reported missing from a site in Libya, has been recovered by forces in the east of the country, a military spokesman said, just a day after the UN nuclear agency sounded the alarm about the lost material.
A Libyan National Army (LNA) media representative, General Khaled Mahjoub, said the ten missing barrels of uranium ore concentrate were found just five kilometers from the warehouse where they were originally located, in southern Libya near the Chad border .
Mahjoub suspected that rebels from the neighboring state might have stolen the big blue barrels from the warehouse, believing they contained weapons or ammunition but later discarded them.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations’ main nuclear regulatory agency, first reported the uranium ore missing on Wednesday after an inspection took place the previous day. In a statement that Reuters IAEA Director Rafael Grossi stated that the material “did not exist” at the given location and that the organization would conduct further investigations to determine how it was removed from the repository.
The IAEA said it was aware of the LNA general’s conjecture and was still working to confirm the information. Although ten barrels were said to be missing, video circulated by the LNA appears to show a total of eighteen containers, according to the news outlet Reuters reported. It is still unclear what accounts for the discrepancy.
The LNA, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, serves as the military force for a Tobruk-based government. This does not recognize the authority of the United Nations-backed transitional state in Tripoli, which was created in the course of the Libyan civil war.
In 2011, the UN Security Council approved an American proposal to establish a no-fly zone over Libya for alleged humanitarian reasons amid the escalating conflict between rebels and government forces under Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
NATO launched a bombing campaign against the government while the US and British navies blockaded the Libyan coast. Gaddafi was brutally executed by the roadside by rebels in October 2011, sparking years of armed conflict between several rival factions.
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