Sudan: Preparations Underway to Withdraw Sudanese Mercenaries from Libya


The registration of foreign fighters, primarily from Sudan, has begun in Libya. This is in preparation for their removal from the country in the coming months, according to the Sudan Tribune newspaper.

A UN report issued last year highlighted the “thousands of Sudanese mercenaries” present in Libya. These belong to movements that have both signed, and refused to sign the peace agreement.

A document written by United Nations experts tasked with monitoring Sudan’s arms embargo in 2022 also confirmed the continued violation of last year’s embargo “by transferring weapons and other types of military equipment to Darfur.”

A diplomatic source told the Sudan Tribune that Libya’s 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC), under the auspices of the United Nations, discussed a plan to remove mercenaries and foreign forces.

The source confirmed Sudan’s participation in the meetings held in Cairo, along with Niger and Chad. “The plan includes dealings between all parties to get the fighters out of Libya.”

Libya’s JMC and liaison committees from Sudan and Niger developed and approved the establishment of an integrated mechanism for joint coordination and data exchange. This is to facilitate the full withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign fighters from the country.

According to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), which is led by Abdoulaye Bathily, the decision was announced, after a two-day meeting in Cairo.

“What you have achieved here is an important step towards achieving sustainable stability and peace in Libya, in neighbouring countries and the region in general. This progress is also an important step towards creating a favourable climate for the political process, including the organization of elections in 2023,” Bathily said.

The UN Envoy pointed out that “the atmosphere of cooperation that prevailed in the meeting reflects the common desire of Libya, and its neighbours to end the presence of mercenaries and foreign fighters.”

In June 2020, the Sudanese authorities arrested 122 Sudanese nationals, who were en route to Libya to “work as mercenaries.”