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Turkey to send troops to defend Libya’s govt against foreign fighters

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December 26, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey Thursday declared dispatching troops to Libya in support of the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

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Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan (Reuters)

To explain his decision, Erdogan pointed to the growing use of foreign mercenaries by the Haftar’s army including Sudanese and Russian fighters.

He made his announcement at a meeting of regional leaders of ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in the Turkish capital.

"We have signed the memorandum of understanding, and we are concluding the Military Security and Cooperation Agreement. I hope we will ratify it in our parliament on Jan. 8 or 9, and thus we will respond to [Libya’s] invitation," he said referring to a deal signed on 27 November with the NGA government.

"Russia is there with 2,000 (fighters from the private military firm)," Wagner Erdogan told the meeting, also he referred to over 3,000 Sudanese fighters in Libya. "Is the official government inviting them? No."

Last April, the Libyan National Army of General Haftar launched an attack to take Tripoli from the GNA. But, his offensive is stalled.

In an article published on 24 December, The Guardian reported that the Sudanese mercenary commanders from the Darfur region had said they are in Libya to prepare the fight against the transitional government.

Another commander said that fighting as mercenaries in Libya was the only way to obtain resources necessary to fight the Sudanese transitional which is "not different from the previous regime".

“We don’t believe that Omar Al-Bashir is gone. We are now in Libya … but there are other battles awaiting for us in Sudan."

"We are there just to have a secure base and to get weapons and other military logistics to go back to Sudan," he told the Guardian.

In November UN experts in Libya said that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) had dispatched 1000 fighters in July to back Haftar’s efforts to take Tripoli. But Sudanese officials quickly denied the claim.

Observers are waiting for another report by the UN expert on Darfur to see if they would confirm the SRF presence in Libya.

(ST)

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