AFRICOM: Withdrawal of Mercenaries Major Step for Libya

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The United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), renewed its call for the withdrawal of all mercenaries and foreign forces from Libya. It stressed that this would be a major step towards ensuring the stability of the country, according to several media outlets on Tuesday.

“We support diplomatic efforts to help ensure that Presidential and Parliamentary elections take place on December 24,” AFRICOM said.

“We continue to work to degrade terrorist groups that pose threats not only to Libyan regional security, but also to the United States, and Europe,” it added.

Earlier in November, AFRICOM announced its support for a political solution in Libya, and the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries.

In a statement, AFRICOM reiterated its support for the US Department of State’s efforts aiming to ensure the holding of the upcoming Presidential elections in Libya on 24 December. The elections are seen as an essential step towards normalcy, after nearly a decade of war affecting the country.

Regarding ‘IS’ published photos, showing its members in the Libyan desert in mid-October, AFRICOM confirmed that it will continue its work to weaken the capacity of all terrorist groups in the country. It stated that these not only pose a threat to regional security but also affect the United States and Europe.

Notably, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) announced that a batch of 140 Syrian mercenaries left Libya for Syria, via Turkey on Tuesday.

According to SOHR sources, the returning mercenaries belong to the Sultan Murad and Al-Hamza militias, as well as various other groups.

On 2 November, about 150 mercenaries were sent to Libya through Turkey, after the resumption of the mercenary exchange process, the SOHR said.

It said on 10 October a new batch of about 100 Syrian mercenaries who had been sent to Libya, arrived in Syria through Turkey. The batch comprised fighters who were transported to Libya in 2019, SOHR claimed. Accordingly, the total number of mercenaries returned to Syria in less than a week had risen to nearly 520.