Hundreds of Sudan militia fighters deployed to Haftar's Libya offensive

Hundreds of Sudan militia fighters deployed to Haftar's Libya offensive

Four thousand members of Sudan’s notorious RSF militia are thought to be deployed to protect Haftar’s oil resources during the offensive on the Libyan capital.
2 min read
26 July, 2019
The RSF militia have played a central role in repressing Sudan's pro-democracy protests [Getty]
An estimated 1,000 fighters from Sudan's Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia arrived in central Libya on Thursday, reportedly charged with protecting oil infrastructure to allow warlord Khalifa Haftar's troops to focus solely on the ongoing offensive to seize Tripoli.

The troops, belonging to the notoriously violent paramilitary group, are reportedly the first batch of 4,000 Sudanese fighters to be sent to Libya to support Haftar, according to Sudan's Radio Dabanga.

Haftar, known for his ruthless brutality, launched a large-scale operation to capture the capital Tripoli from forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in April.

The campaign has left over 1,000 people dead, according to the World Health Organisation, and forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes.

Mercenaries from Sudan's RSF are thought to be fighting in Yemen among other countries.

The force, originating out of the feared Janjaweed militia accused of atrocities in Darfur, are estimated to consist of 30,000 troops under the command of Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti.

Both Haftar and deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi were known to use RSF mercenaries to fight against Islamist militants in Libya's east.

Haftar allegedly rewarded those fighting for him by providing a secure base from which to launch their attacks in the Darfur region, reports suggest.

Members of the RSF have been deployed in Yemen since 2015, fighting alongside Saudi and Emirati forces by whom they are supported with money and weapons.

Countless militia, extremist and mercenary groups are fighting in the chaotic conflict in Libya, from countries including Sudan, Chad, Tunisia, and Egypt.