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Protest in Khartoum against UAE firm recruiting Sudanese to fight in Libya and Yemen

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Protesters outside UAE embassy in Khartoum with a banner saying Sudanese are not mercenary and call to return youth back on 26 January 2020 (ST photo) ( January 26, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese demonstrated in Khartoum on Sunday to protest against sending young Sudanese men by an Emirati company to Libya and Yemen after telling them they would serve as security guards in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

During the past two days, several reports appeared on the social and the S24 TV about Sudanese youth who travelled to the UAE after signing a contract with the UAE-based Black Shield Security Services Company to work as a security guard in private companies and other establishments in the Gulf country.

When of them who recently returned to Khartoum explained to the S24 TV, how they had been collected from the airport and taken to a far military training camp in the desert. He also spoke about how he managed to return to Sudan, the manipulation and psychological preparations to convince them to go to troubled Libya and Yemen.

Dozens of Sudanese organized a protest in front of the UAE embassy in Khartoum, on Sunday, carrying banners reading "No to mercenary activities", "No to charlatanism", "No to deception".

Most of the protesters were representing families that their sons are now deployed in Libya after receiving training in the UAE military camps.

A mother said that her son in his latest call with her three days ago said that he had been deployed at an oil field in Libya after receiving military training in the UAE.

Earlier in January, the Sudanese government announced it had withdrawn troops from Yemen.

There were reports about the deployment of Sudanese troops from the Rapid Support Forces (SRF) but the government denied having troops in Libya. Also, UN panel of experts on Sudan dismissed the claim saying they had no evidence of such presence.

Similar statements about the forced recruitment of Sudanese youth had been made by their relatives saying that their sons were not aware until the last minutes about where they will be deployed before to arrive in Libya.

Some of the relatives said in their statements claimed that the Black Shield asked their sons to wear the RSF military uniform.

Observers in Khartoum estimate that over 300 Sudanese youth have left for the UAE under contracts with this company.

In a statement attributed to Black Shield, the company denied allegations of "deception and misleading" its employees about the nature of the jobs it offers, or the worksite.

"The company reserves its right to take any legal and judicial measures against everyone who has offended the company," further said Black Shield in its statement.

Some of the protesters denounced the government silence and called on Abdel Fattah al-Burhan the head of the Sovereign Council and Abdallah Hamdok, the prime minister to take action against this company and to bring their relatives back to the country.

After the collapse of al-Bashir’s regime, the Sudanese government enhanced relations with the UAE which is known for its hostilities to Islamist regimes and its alleged support to the Libyan renegade general Haftar.

However, there are calls among the ruling Forces for Freedom and Change to not take part in the regional conflicts particularly the embargo against Qatar, the civil wars in Libya and Yemen.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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