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Haftar Libyan army officials paid secret visit to Sudan: report

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April 6, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - A high ranking delegation of the Libyan National Army (LNA), a military group led by Gen Khalifa Haftar, reportedly held talks with Sudanese officials during a secret visit to Khartoum.

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General Khalifa Haftar attends a news conference at Benina air base in Benghazi on 24 May 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)

According to the London based Asharq Al-Awsat, the visit was organised by the Egyptian and the United Arab Emirates which support Gen Haftar who is accused of using Darfur armed groups in a bid to reconcile between him and Khartoum.

The visiting delegation comprised two senior generals of the Libyan National Army which controls the eastern part of Libya along the border with Egypt, one of them Gen Abdel Salam al-Hassi, the commander of the Karama Operations units tasked with the fight against the jihadist groups.

The news report which emanated from Cairo and attributed to a "reliable Libyan source" said the LNA delegation met with Sudanese security and military officials to discuss ways to improve bilateral relations and to resolve the "points of disagreement between the parties".

The Libyan generals among others met with Salah Gosh head of the National Intelligence and Security Services(NISS), the source said.

At least two United Nations reports on Libya and Darfur region pointed to the presence of Darfuri elements among the fighters of Haftar army which its origins go back to the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL), a U.S. supported opposition group established in June 1988.

Two Sudanese armed groups carried out a coordinated attack from Libya and South Sudan using armoured vehicles Egypt had provided to Haftar in May 2017. At the time, Sudan accused Egypt of backing Darfur groups.

However, Cairo and Khartoum formed security and military committees that held several meeting since last year to coordinate a joint action in the border areas to prevent cross-border attacks. Cairo has been supporting Haftar and mobilizing troops to fights Jihadists groups that carry out attacks in western Egypt.

(ST)

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