Around 500 armed Sudanese men have arrived in Libya’s Benghazi as a prelude to being deployed alongside Khalifa Haftar’s forces around Tripoli, according to London-based newspaper al-Araby al-Jadeed.
The fighters’ arrival came as part of an agreement between Haftar, the United Arab Emirates and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, head of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces paramilitary.
Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army has since April been waging an offensive against the UN-recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli.
According to al-Araby al-Jadeed’s sources, the armed men sent by Dagalo – who is commonly known as Hemetti – received training on the use of light weapons and the basics of fighting, and had been recruited from the areas under his control in and around Darfur.
Hemetti has close ties with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the de facto ruler of the UAE.
According to the sources, the fighters were the second batch to arrive from Sudan, following 1,000 others in July.
The sources also revealed that in conjunction with the arrival of the militants affiliated with Hemetti, 200 other fighters affiliated with the Chadian Rotation and Reconciliation Movement had been brought in.
These were reportedly transferred after Abu Dhabi sent money to the Chadian and Sudanese parties.