March 23, 2023

On Wednesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported the disappearance of about 2.5 tons of natural uranium from a facility in Libya, according to a report by Agence France-Presse.

According to a report prepared by International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi for Member States, UN body inspectors during their visit on Tuesday found that “ten containers containing about 2.5 tons of natural uranium in the form of uranium concentrate (the “yellow cake”) no longer exists.” At a location announced by the authorities.”

The agency said it would conduct “additional” verification operations to “establish the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of this nuclear material and its current location.”

While Yellow Pie ​​is considered a low-level radioactive substance, “lack of information could pose a radiological hazard” and raise “nuclear safety concerns,” according to a confidential document seen by AFP on Thursday.

The document says the site, which is not named, is “not under the control of a government” recognized by the United Nations and based in Tripoli.

The International Atomic Energy Agency regularly monitors the site “through analysis of satellite images and open access to information”, and in the light of the results of these analyzes, it wanted to visit it, “despite the alarming security situation in the region and difficult logistics” to achieve this.

The inspection was supposed to take place last year, but was postponed due to the difficult situation in Libya.

The UN agency confirmed that it is “ready to provide the necessary assistance” in this matter.

In 2003, Libya abandoned its nuclear weapons program under former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

However, after the overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011, after 42 years of dictatorial rule, Libya is going through a major political crisis as two governments vie for power, one in the capital Tripoli (west) led by UN-recognized Abdul Hamid al-Dabaiba and the other in Sirte (center). ) led by Fathi Bashaga is backed by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, a powerful man in eastern Libya.

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