On Wednesday, March 15, 2023, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported the disappearance of about 2.5 tons of natural uranium from a site in Libya, according to an announcement received by Agence France-Presse.
According to a report prepared by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, to the member states, the inspectors of the UN body discovered during a visit they conducted on Tuesday, March 14, that “ten containers containing about 2.5 tons of natural uranium in the form of uranium concentrate (‘yellow cake’) were not found.” It is no longer in the location that the authorities had announced.”
The agency stated that it would conduct “additional” verification operations in order to “determine the circumstances of the disappearance of this nuclear material and its current location.”
The report did not give any details about the aforementioned site.
Libya had abandoned in 2003 its program to develop nuclear weapons, during the reign of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
However, since the overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011 after 42 years of dictatorial rule, Libya is witnessing a major political crisis, as two governments compete for power, one in the capital, Tripoli (west), headed by Abdul Hamid al-Dabaiba, recognized by the United Nations, and the other in Sirte (center) headed by Fathi Bashagha is supported by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the strong man in eastern Libya.