Sudanese families urge gov't to take concrete action over deceptive UAE recruitment

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
Published 01.02.2020 17:05
Sudanese demonstrators carry placards and chant slogans as they protest outside the Foreign Ministry in the capital Khartoum on Jan. 28, 2020. AFP Photo
Sudanese demonstrators carry placards and chant slogans as they protest outside the Foreign Ministry in the capital Khartoum on Jan. 28, 2020. (AFP Photo)

Families of Sudanese men who were tricked into guarding Libyan oil facilities by an Emirati security firm accused the Sudanese government of failing to take necessary action, a report said Friday.

Protesting outside the United Arab Emirates Embassy and the Sudanese foreign ministry, families demanded the government take urgent action for their relatives.

Information Minister Faisal Mohamed Salih said they set up an "operations room" to provide assistance to the men and analyze their contracts.

"They went to the UAE and there they were offered two different contracts, one contract as a security guard in the UAE and [another] contract as security guards in petrol fields in Libya," the Guardian quoted the minister as saying.

The men claimed they were not given a choice to work in the UAE or Libya and some of them found themselves in Benghazi, Libya even though they were told that they were in the eastern part of the Emirati kingdom.

Activists criticized the government's response for being weak, noting that the information only made a statement because of increasing public pressure on the matter.

The UAE is Haftar's most important supporter in a conflict that has increasingly become a proxy war. The UAE has also been a prominent player in Sudan, where it has close ties to top military officials who toppled former President Omar al-Bashir last year after months of street protests.

Sudan sent troops to fight in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, in which the UAE also participated, though Sudan's transitional government, which is sharing power with the military, has said it is drawing down its presence there.

Foreign fighters and guards including many from Sudan have been used in Libya and Yemen many times. The U.N. said in a December report that five Sudanese and four Chadian armed groups had contributed thousands of combatants to fight in Libya. A separate U.N. report on Sudan released this month also said that many Arabs from the conflict-wracked region of Darfur were fighting as "individual mercenaries" alongside Libyan warring parties.

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