The UK-based Guardian newspaper reported on a new wave of Sudanese fighters “flocking” to Libya to fight in its ongoing conflict, “raising fears of prolonged war”. Recent months saw the arrival of hundreds of new recruits joining Haftar’s LNA forces. LNA commanders estimate at least 3000 Sudanese mercenaries are now fighting throughout Libya. A recent UN report on foreign intervention in Libya pointed to the involvement of Sudanese and other foreign fighters, warning it could lead to further instability. We have reported before on this development here on Libya News Live.
Sudanese mercenary commanders in Libya say many of the new recruits are those who fought against the now deposed ruler of Sudan Omar al-Bashir, who stepped down after months of popular protests and when the military withdrew their support for him. They hope to return to Sudan to fight the current transitional government, and are in Libya in order to get the resources, including arms and other supplies, to be able to return to do so. Many of the fighters are in Libya in order to earn money, and are also involved in human trafficking and migrant smuggling efforts to further increase their earnings. These new fighters are in addition to the Rapid Support Forces, the paramilitary group formerly know as the Janjaweed, who are already in Libya fighting on behalf of Haftar’s LNA since the summer.