Libya Accuses Hafter Forces of Sending Mercenaries to Sirte

Ceasefire in question as hundreds of mercenaries deploy

Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) threw doubt into the ceasefire over the weekend, accusing Gen. Hafter’s forces of sending mercenaries to the outskirts of Sirte and Jufra. This appears to be in anticipation of new fighting.

The GNA said convoys of mercenaries are gathering south of Sirte. They accused them of including mercenaries from Yemen, Sudan, and Russia. Other mercenaries are reported to be in a training camp at Zilah.

International support for Hafter’s attempted takeover of Libya has given him a lot of support from abroad, especially rich Gulf Arab states willing to bankroll efforts to buy mercenaries, giving them access to a lot of fighters and arms from across the region.

The GNA had been losing ground for some time, but turned the table on Hafter in recent months, retaking the area around Tripoli. The hope was that a ceasefire would give time for more serious talks on peace.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.