Conflicts & War

Dozens of Sudanese ex Black Shield personnel protest for compensation

Khartoum. Jul 14 (efe-epa).- Dozens of Sudanese former employees of the United Arab Emirates security services provider Black Shield on Tuesday gathered in front of the UAE embassy in Khartoum demanding compensation after being allegedly deceived into fighting in the Libyan conflict.

Around 250 people, between 20 and 29 years old, also demanded the rehabilitation of Sudan, as they were initially contracted as security guards in Abu Dhabi, but instead were sent to fight in Libya.

“We demand UAE to apologize to the Sudanese people because we are not mercenaries and to compensate us for the psychological damage and financial loss,” Othman Ser al Khetm, one of the protesters, told Efe.

Protesters hoisted banners that read “Sudanese young people are not mercenaries” and “We went as security guards and became victims of the Black Shield company”.

 According to the protesters, they traveled from Sudan to Abu Dhabi, where they were transported to military camps in the UAE for military training.

Then they were told they were going to be transported to southern Africa, but instead they were moved to Libya where they fought for the country’s strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is backed by the UAE.

Having failed to travel back on their own, they contacted their families, who organized protests calling for their relatives to be brought home and it was then that the issue emerged earlier this year.

Under mounting pressure, the Sudanese young people were brought home.

They demanded “an apology and compensation” in a memorandum handed to the personnel of the UAE embassy, located in southern Khartoum, on Tuesday.

The protesters plan to turn to the United Nations and human rights organizations if their demands are not met and they do not get compensated, Al Sadek Abdel Salam, one of the demonstrators, told Efe.

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