UN report: UAE support for mercenaries in Libya strengthens armed movements in Darfur

An annual United Nations report published on Friday confirmed that the activities of Sudanese mercenaries funded by the UAE “in Libya represented the main source of funding (in 2021) for most of the movements in the Darfur region” in western Sudan.

The document – written by the United Nations experts in charge of monitoring the arms embargo imposed on Sudan in favor of the Security Council – confirms the continued violation of the embargo last year “by transferring weapons and other types of military equipment to Darfur.”

The complicity of Haftar’s forces

The report deals in particular with the thousands of Sudanese mercenaries present in Libya in the service of forces loyal to retired Major General Khalifa Haftar.

These mercenaries belong to movements that signed and others that did not sign the Juba Peace Agreement of October 2020, according to experts who said they were unable to determine the total number of these mercenaries.

Experts say that most armed groups in Darfur continued to work for Haftar’s forces last year, “securing areas and establishing observation points.”

They add that the five main movements (the Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minawi, the Sudan Liberation Forces Assembly, the Sudan Liberation Army-Transitional Council, the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid Nur and the Sudanese Revolutionary Awakening Council) received payments and logistical support.

According to the report, several sources within these movements said that funds and support were discussed and agreed upon in meetings between their military leaders and UAE representatives in Libya.

According to experts, the payments were provided by the United Arab Emirates and were delivered to the movements through Haftar’s forces, which took a share of them.

Recommendation for funding

“In response to allegations of possible financial or military support for Darfur forces (both in Sudan and Libya), the UAE indicated its country’s moderate stance and its fight against extremism and hate speech,” the report said, referring to the experts’ meeting with Emirati authorities in November. second 2021.

The report also states that the Sudanese government participated in the activities of the so-called “5 + 5” joint military committee, which includes representatives from eastern and western Libya to ensure the continuation of the ceasefire and the withdrawal of fighters and foreign forces from the country.

The experts explained that many of the “small groups (of Sudanese mercenaries) operating in Libya” have “the will to engage in peace talks and return to Sudan,” and recommended the international community “provide funds to Sudan and other relevant countries” in order to “avoid destabilizing the region.” Darfur.

Sudan’s vast western region of Darfur, rocked regularly by land-related clashes and difficulties accessing water, has witnessed a long war that has killed at least 300,000 people since 2003 and displaced 2.5 million others, according to the United Nations.

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