MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) –Hundreds of Somali youths duped into joining mercenary army sent to Libya amid major escalation of tensions between Turkey and Egypt ahead of feared Sirte war.
Somaliguardian has learned that more than 2,000 Somali nationals part of new Turkish and Qatar proxies were deployed to Libya’s frontlines to join the fighting against warlord Haftar’s army, backed by Egypt and the UAE.
Some of the youths conscripted for Qatar’s army told Somaliguardian that many of their country-mates were already deployed in the frontline areas in Libya and that they were waiting to be sent to the hostile zone.
The youths who were earlier granted Qatari citizenship said it hurts them when media regards them as Somali mercenaries, but many of them argue that poverty and unemployment forced them into throwing their lives to a “raging fire.
Qatar recruited more than 5,000 Somali youths who officially joined its army following blockade imposed by neighboring Arab countries against Doha.
Qatar is not the only country that recruits Somali youths to defend its national interests, but its close ally, Turkey is also said to be having hundreds of Somali Special Forces under its command, although they do not officially operate as part of the Turkish army, they are equipped, funded and operated by Turkey’s military generals in Mogadishu.
More recently, there have been reports indicating that youths duped into the Somali army with promise that they will be conscripted for Qatar’s army –ended up in Libya after being trained in Eritrea. Several of these youths were earlier confirmed dead in Eritrean training camp after being poisoned.
Somalia’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Isse Awad denied that his government is sending troops to fight in Libya.
“Our government has not and will not send its forces to fight in Libya,” Awad told a local radio station, adding that “the Somali armed forces are not mercenary forces, and Somalia does not have mercenaries.”
Despite government denying the deployment of Somali mercenary fighters to Libya’s frontlines, it goes without saying, that hundreds of Somali mercenaries are currently present there to fight for a cause they are not even familiar with and hundreds more are soon going to follow.
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