Sudan detains 122 fighters headed for Libya

KHARTOUM (AFP) – Sudan said on Sunday it has arrested 122 of its nationals as they headed to neighbouring Libya to fight as “mercenaries”, state media reported.

Libya’s United Nations (UN)-recognised unity government has long accused Sudan of sending fighters to back military strongman Khalifa Haftar who controls much of the country’s east.

Sudan, which shares a 330-kilometre border with southeastern Libya, denies the allegations.

State news agency SUNA on Sunday cited Brigadier Jamal Jumaa, spokesman for the Rapid Reaction Forces, saying that “joint security forces detained 122 outlaws including eight children who were heading to (fight as) mercenaries in Libya”.

SUNA published a video showing dozens of youth sitting on the ground, surrounded by military vehicles carrying soldiers armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles.

It said the video was shot in Al-Junayna, the capital of West Darfur province.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister this week denied that Sudanese forces were involved in the conflict in Libya.

In an interview with AFP, Asma Abdalla said, “We cannot get involved in a conflict in any neighbouring country.”