Officials and experts in Libyan affairs warn that the exit of foreign mercenaries from Libya in an “ill-considered” manner and without coordination with neighboring countries and international bodies will carry risks, and possibly new terrorist acts, targeting neighboring countries, no less than those they suffered during their stay.
Amr Farouk, a researcher in the affairs of terrorist movements, expects the implementation of expected terrorist attacks for mercenaries scheduled to be expelled from Libya, wondering about the mechanism of their exit, especially since their numbers exceeded 20 thousand mercenaries.
Farouk explained to “Sky News Arabia” that Libya “has turned after 2011 into a safe haven for terrorist organizations, led by ISIS, al-Qaeda and the Brotherhood, as well as armed groups in the depths of Africa, especially Chad,” referring to the ferocity of the resistance expected when they were expelled.
He pointed out that the countries most affected by the “unplanned and organized” exit are the countries of North Africa: Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia, in addition to Sudan, as the closest geographically, which also suffered during their presence by being exposed to bombings by these groups.
Farouk warned that the main obstacle to the exit of mercenaries is the refusal of the countries to which they belong to receive them; Therefore, the handover process must be monitored under international auspices, indicating the desire of the United States to remove the mercenaries and transfer them to new bases.
The concerns of the six neighboring countries of Libya: Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, Chad and Niger, all converge on the need for an organized removal of mercenaries under the supervision of the United Nations.
Last Thursday, the Algerian Foreign Ministry warned of the repercussions of an unplanned and monitored exit of mercenaries and weapons, and stressed the need for an organized gradual withdrawal under the umbrella of the United Nations and in coordination with neighboring countries.
At the same meeting, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry renewed his country’s demand for “the unconditional, simultaneous and coordinated exit of all foreign forces, mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libya, without exception.”
The beginning of the crisis
After the fall of the rule of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, smuggling gangs, whether Libyan or international, were active, with wide Turkish support, in bringing weapons and mercenaries, and massed on the borders of neighboring countries, and Egypt had the largest share in the transfer of weapons and terrorists to its territory, and they carried out bombings targeting dozens of soldiers, This was what the Egyptian forces responded to with large-scale purges until 2018, which security officials in Cairo defined as the year of annihilating terrorist groups, especially in the West.
After moving to the cities of Ubari and Sabha in Libya, “Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb” posed threats to Algeria, and cooperated with ISIS, and the Libyan army seized, last May, weapons for ISIS elements on the southern border that matched the weapons of terrorists affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
According to a statement by the Tunisian Ministry of Defense, the 25 Syrians were arrested last August while they were trying to infiltrate across the border from Libya, and the infiltration attempt of the terrorist Abu Zaid Al-Tunisi was also thwarted.
Chadian movements, including the “Front of Rotation and Accord in Chad” in southwest Libya, used a base to hide, train, and launch terrorist operations against Chad, and caused the assassination of Chadian President Idriss Deby last April.
According to a United Nations report last year, 29 million weapons not only drowned Libya, but their impact extended to the countries of the African continent.