In the previous two episodes, we dealt with the foci and sources of African mercenary armies in sub-Saharan Africa, the phenomenon of immigrant peoples, the factors and impact of tribal and ethnic overlap, common cultures and political dimensions in the manufacture of these groups, the wars that erupted in the region after independence, and the survival of many of these countries under Western influence and control, especially French, after the exit of colonial armies, made it possible to employ and direct fighting groups and political movements to achieve international wills, and no country from Sudan's western borders to the ocean coast is excluded. Atlantic west.
Perhaps the most important motive that caused the emergence of these groups during the sixties of the last century is the imbalance, political turmoil and imbalance in power in the countries of West Africa, and the concentration of education, wealth and power in the hands of a selected elite that does not represent the majority and does not reflect the emerging societies in these countries, but the opening of the seventies of the last century with the advent of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to power in Libya, and his involvement in the Chadian-Chadian conflicts and his desire to expand his circle of influence in Africa, is considered the period The most fertile of the egg from which the hordes of mercenaries were born on the black continent.
Members of the former Libyan Foreign Intelligence Service and officials of the African file during the Gaddafi era played a major role in organizing the movement of mercenaries
Since the seventies of the last century, Gaddafi embraced the Chadian Frolina movement (National Liberation Front), the Revolutionary Democratic Council, the People's Liberation Forces, the Volcano Movement and the rest of the Chadian opposition factions, and attracted their leaders, and provided them with political, military and financial support at that time, and since these factions were looking for a human resource for their forces, they began recruitment operations from the common tribes between Sudan, Chad, Niger, Libya and Nigeria (Qur'an, Arabs, Zaghawa, Borno, Hausa, Tuareg, Waday) and training camps were taking place in the Libyan desert, and during the Chadian war Chadian During the seventies and eighties of the last century, Libyan and French money and weapons were flowing to the parties to the conflict inside Chad, while Gaddafi's intelligence attracted fighters from these countries, then Gaddafi sought through the so-called "global reward, Islamic Legion, popular organizations and bodies" to include military and civil leaders from African countries, in support of building a broad bloc in Africa that implements the Libyan leader's will and strategies in the continent.
During the conflicts that occurred in Chad until former President Idriss Déby came to power and throughout his rule, many Chadian armed movements arose and participated in all stages of the conflict in the State of Chad, and until the moment after President Déby was killed in battles with the Forces of Concord for Change (FCF-FACT) and his son took power and signed a peace agreement in Doha last year 2022, the war is not over and groups of Chadian opposition movements are still fighting, which is now the main resource for fighters in the country. area.
If the Gaddafi regime, until its fall, brought mercenaries from Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and the rest of the African Sahel countries, retired General Khalifa Haftar was quick to bring these mercenary groups to fight with him, many of whom belong to Arab tribes that overlap with Libya, Sudan, Chad, Niger and Mali (such as: Tebu, Tuaregs, Arab Awlad Suleiman, Mahamid, Zaghawa), and some of them received high training by the Russian Wagner in camps in the regions of Jufra, eastern Libya, Kufra and the oil crescent. These mercenary groups represent movements in the African region, namely:
The Role of Haftar's Elements and the Former Libyan Regime
Members of the former Libyan Foreign Intelligence Service and officials of the African file during the Gaddafi era played a major role in organizing the movement of mercenaries, as the links extended from long periods with the areas of their arrival, and after the fall of Gaddafi, a number of these joined retired Major General Khalifa Haftar and were the basis for the latter's contacts with African mercenaries.
The funding provided by General Haftar alone was not enough, as the United Arab Emirates undertook financial support to bring and train mercenaries and provide them with military equipment, four-wheel drive vehicles and weapons, in addition to training elite forces of these mercenaries in the UAE in camps west of the capital Abu Dhabi during the period from 2017 to 2021, and the training included groups participating in the Yemen war from the "Rapid Support" forces, as there was full coordination between these forces and Haftar's forces in Libya, and the goal was not It is limited to qualifying these forces to fight in Yemen to serve the interests of the UAE there, but to create parallel armies in the countries of Central and West Africa (the experience of rapid support in Sudan), and the goal is to control the destinies of the countries of the region and their political conflicts, change regimes and control resources.
Agreements were concluded by rapid support for the recruitment and training of these militias and mercenary groups, including training in warplanes in cooperation with Haftar, who sought to have an effective air force in the region to work with him inside Libya, and brought former mercenary pilots from several African and European countries, while the rapid support in Sudan sought to train its elements in Russia, Ethiopia and Libya under full Emirati supervision, and the UAE military attaché and Wagner were carrying out all the required procedures in Sudan in the period from 2019, and joined Rapid Support flight trainees at camps in southern Russia owned and operated by the Wagner Group, and others have been trained in Ethiopia.
Abu Dhabi aimed to train militias and mercenaries to equip between 20 to 40 thousand fighters in stages extending for four years, these groups under the name of Rapid Support have ground strike forces of more than 200 thousand fighters, in addition to armored forces, air forces and special forces, and Haftar played a prominent role in preparing training and rehabilitation camps in the areas under his control and gained experience in dealing with African mercenary groups.
Current mercenary areas in southern Libya and the border with Chad
In the southern region of Libya (the soft belly), where there is no effective control of the Libyan state, there are many groups of African mercenaries from countries such as Chad, Niger, Mali, Sudan and Central Africa, and their concentration was in the following areas despite their departure from them after the United Nations decision to remove mercenaries from Libya:
How mercenaries go to Sudan
Mercenary brokers, rapid support delegates in Sudan and elements of Haftar's forces contact the mercenaries, equip them as groups in gathering centers in the areas to which we have indicated, give them sums of money, agree with them on the duration and conditions of work, and distribute them according to combat technical capabilities, and then send them in the form of small and medium-sized groups as needed after providing them with the required information and meeting place within the Sudanese borders.
Mercenaries in southern Libya or crossing its borders follow several paths to join militias in Sudan. Due to the length of the border, the vastness of the Sahara Desert, and the lack of control of these long borders shared by Libya, Niger, Sudan, Chad and Egypt, crossing is always possible and affordable through southern Libya through Tibesti and the Ouzou region, and heading east towards the triangle.
There are assembly areas in the Sudanese-Libyan and Chadian border triangle on the Saar road and the Laayoune road, and there is a rapid support base (Chevrolet) that was equipped to receive arrivals, a base established several years ago to combat illegal immigration, but it has turned into a crossing point and facilitate the passage of mercenaries (it is said to have been controlled by the Sudanese army).
Roads from um al-Arnab, al-Qatroun, al-Harouj, South Sabha, Murzuq, Ubari and Kufra cluster at the triangle, and start just south through the arid desert to the border of Wadi Hor in North Darfur.
There are also groups affiliated with Haftar and local Libyan leaders linked to economic interests with Sudan, especially rapid support in the trade in petroleum, camels, food commodities and plastic manufactures, and these groups work to facilitate the transit of mercenaries, and cooperate with the Rapid Support in exchanging intelligence and coordinating military aid.