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UN report: Darfur rebels’ foothold in Libya strengthened

Rebel groups from Sudan’s Darfur region are strengthening their foothold in Libya, building up their military strength in a bid to return to Sudan and fight on, according to a confidential report seen by AFP on Wednesday.

The report by a UN panel of experts said Sudan was continuing to pour weapons into Darfur to support its military campaign there, in violation of a UN arms embargo.

“In recent months, most of the Darfur rebel groups have consolidated their presence in Libya,” said the 53-page report sent to the Security Council this month.

Many of them have joined Libyan armed groups and are “reportedly building up their military capabilities in order to be ready to return to Sudan when the environment becomes more conducive.”

South Sudan, once a key backer for the rebels fighting Khartoum, has lost sway as “Libya has emerged as an important source of financing for Darfuri armed groups.”

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