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Sudan arrests 122 mercenaries heading for Libya

June 29, 2020 at 4:04 pm

Sudanese authorities in western Darfur have arrested at least 122 people, including eight children, who they believe had planned to go and fight in neighbouring Libya, SUNA reported.

General Gamal Gomaa, a spokesman for the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, said in a statement that 72 of those arrested belonged to the Sudanese Awakening Revolutionary Council, an armed group led by the former Janjaweed militia leader Musa Hilal.

SUNA published a video showing dozens of youths sitting on the ground, surrounded by military vehicles carrying soldiers armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles.

It said the video was shot in Al-Junayna, the capital of the West Darfur province.

The country’s foreign minister this week denied that Sudanese forces were involved in the conflict in Libya.

READ: Libya calls for sanctions on foreign mercenaries

In an interview with AFP, Asma Abdalla said: “We cannot get involved in a conflict in any neighbouring country.”

Sudan is currently undergoing a fragile democratic transition and unrest in the Darfur region

According to the United Nations, Sudanese fighters from Darfur have been fighting for the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by retired Major General Khalifa Haftar in his battle against the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli.

Neighbouring Libya has, in recent years, turned into a regional proxy war, with rival administrations in the east and the west, each backed by armed groups and foreign countries.

Libya’s UN-recognised unity government has long accused Sudan of sending fighters to back renegade warlord Haftar who is backed by the UAE and Russia.

READ: Turabi’s party calls on Sudan to support Libya GNA