Middle East, Africa

UAE desperate to recruit more mercenaries for Haftar

Report says UAE delegation's visit to Sudan came to convince Sudanese officials to send fighters to help warlord

Ali H. M. Abo Rezeg   | 02.05.2020
UAE desperate to recruit more mercenaries for Haftar

ANKARA

An Emirati delegation arrived in Sudan's capital Khartoum on Friday to discuss possible assistance to Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar amid reports of diminishing number of fighters on his rank.  

London-based daily Al-Araby Al-Jadeed cited a Libyan MP, close to Haftar, as saying that the visit aimed at convincing Sudanese officials to send fighters to help Haftar.

“The visit came as Haftar’s allies [UAE and Egypt] have become unable to send more mercenaries to help the Libyan general in his Tripoli battle,” the source added.

The source went on to say that Haftar is facing a big crisis demonstrated in the shortage of mercenaries fighting with him against the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

Haftar, who announced himself as ruler of Libya earlier this week, declared a cease-fire in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The source said the cease-fire had nothing to do with Ramadan but came as GNA inflicted many losses to Haftar’s militias.

“The Emirati delegation exerted pressure on Sudan’s head of Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to send fighters to back Haftar,” he added.

However, Haftar’s forces have yet to abide by the cease-fire as three civilians were killed in shelling carried out early on Friday by his militias in Zintan city, northwestern Libya.

The GNA has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence. It launched Operation Peace Storm on March 26 to counter attacks on the capital.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) launched a failed offensive to take Tripoli last April which caused bloodshed and suffering but stalled on the outskirts of the city.

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