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Instability Looms Deep In Libya

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destroyed building in Libya
destroyed building in Libya

A new surge of professional hired soldiers from is contributing to the political instability in Libya.
This however is deepening concerns that the conflict in the north African state has descended into an intractable international war that could destabilization much of the region.

Leaders of two different groups of Sudanese fighters active in Libya have  categorically told odunews that they had received hundreds of new recruits in recent months. Both groups were fighting with the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Khalifa Haftar against the internationally recognized government in Tripoli.
A lot of young men [are coming] … we even do not have the capacity to accommodate these big numbers,” said one commander who is based in the south of Libya.
The commanders said that there are at least 3,000 Sudanese mercenaries now fighting in Libya, significantly more than most previous estimates.
This is deepening the glaring unrest that has been the distinctive feature of the country since Ghadafi was dethroned and killed.
One would recall that earlier this month the UN said the interference of fighters from Sudan in Libya was a direct threat to the security of the war-torn country. A UN panel of experts said in a 376-page report to the security council that the presence of the Sudanese has become more marked in 2019 and may lead to further instability.

While the LNA and the eastern government enjoy the support of France, Russia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and other key Arab countries, the Tripoli-based government is backed by Italy, Turkey and Qatar.
“Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates routinely and sometimes blatantly supplied weapons, with little effort to disguise the source” in violation of a UN. arms embargo, the recent report said. But “neither side has the military capability to effectively decide the outcome to their advantage”.
The LNA have also been reinforced by Russian mercenaries in recent months.

Some of the biggest Sudanese groups based in Libya once fought in Darfur, the restive western region of Sudan, in a series of insurgencies against militia and troops sent by the repressive regime in Khartoum.
The Sudanese mercenary commanders said the new wave of recruits included many who had fought against the rule of Omar al-Bashir, who was deposed in April when Sudan’s military withdrew their support after months of popular protests.
It however unfortunate that the once peaceful and rich oil nation is now used as a porn on a chess game by countries to promote their selfish interests
Also, coupled with the high rate of poverty and tremendous level of unemployment in Sudan, many of the mercenaries have been recruited in Darfur while many also came to Libya to join voluntarily.

Some of the commanders interviewed said they hoped to return to Sudan to fight against the current transitional government, installed after al-Bashir’s fall.
One of the commanders that our correspondence interviewed said :
“I know that we are mercenaries and we are not fighting with honor and dignity … but this is temporary, we will go back home after we are done with our mission here,” one said.

Another commander said that fighting as mercenaries in Libya was the only way to obtain the resources necessary to fight the Sudanese state in the future.
He said he had not expected al-Bashir to be ousted but, though the veteran dictator’s fall had “changed the political equation”, the new transitional government in Khartoum was not different from the previous regime.
“We don’t believe that Omar Al-Bashir is gone. We are now in Libya … but there are other battles awaiting for us in Sudan.”

Another high-ranking Sudanese mercenary based near Tripoli told odunews that they had “no timetable” for leaving Libya but that any stay was temporary.
“We are there just to have a secure base and to get weapons and other military logistics to go back to Sudan,” he said.
One of the experts in Libya at the Clingendael Institution in the Hague, said that the new influx of recruits could be a significant destabilizing factor in the long term.

“The younger people are coming in to earn money. It could be one year, two years or more but eventually the conflict will cool off. At some point they will start to return home [to Sudan],” he said.

There are also claims that a large contingent of Sudanese fighters from the feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) were deployed to Libya on the request of Hafter.

With all this development in libya, one thing is sure, the influx of mercenaries into the country, we compound more of the political instability in the country.

Ojo Oriyomi Ademola
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