Middle East, Africa

UAE provides Libya's Haftar with African militants

Anadolu Agency could not get comment from Egypt, UAE, or Sudan on the claims

AA   | 09.07.2019
UAE provides Libya's Haftar with African militants


Emirati officials have concluded agreements to provide East Libya-based military commander Khalifa Haftar with fighters from Sudan and neighboring countries in his bid to capture the capital Tripoli, a London-based newspaper reported.

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed daily, citing Libyan and Egyptian sources, said large-scale troop mobilization was underway across Egypt's western border and Libya's southern border, with funding from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.

The newspaper, citing an Egyptian source, said agreements have been signed in recent days with African militias from countries neighboring Sudan to take part in Haftar's operation to capture Tripoli in return for money.

The source said agreements have been concluded with militants from Chad, funded by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to "reduce the Turkish intervention in favor of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA)".

According to the source, Emirati officials also reached a deal with the deputy leader of Sudan's ruling military council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, to provide Haftar’s militias with militants from Sudan.

A Libyan source with Haftar's militia said "supply lines were underway by our allies in Egypt and the UAE through the Egyptian border to support us in the battle".

Another Egyptian source said UAE planes had carried out attacks on positions of GNA forces in Tripoli.

Anadolu Agency could not get comment from Egypt, the UAE, or Sudan on the claims.

In early April, Haftar, who commands forces loyal to a rival government based in eastern Libya, launched a wide-ranging campaign to take the capital Tripoli from the GNA.

His forces, however, have failed to achieve their primary objective, although they have captured several strategic towns and cities in the vicinity.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power -- one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli -- and a host of heavily armed militia groups.

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