A review of what is written and published about Chadian opposition movements and their presence in Libya, We find that there is a set of dimensions that must be identified, And a lot to look at, In this paper, we have before us a set of important observations in this regard, the most important of which are: –
- The numbers of the Chadian opposition in the media, especially the Emirati media, and the Egyptian media or those affiliated with them are significantly inflated, as well as there are statements by some parties affiliated with the Chadian government that point in the same direction, as they describe that the numbers of these Chadian armed groups present in southern Libya are about 25 thousand mercenaries, while the real number of the total fighters for all factions can be estimated as not exceeding absolutely 10 thousand fighters, and if there are other numbers, they are Expatriate workers from Chad, Niger, Mali and Sudan organize with these groups in specific tasks according to the circumstances and the amounts of money provided.
- like that , Many media outlets associated with regional circles were keen to mention the association of Chadian opposition factions with political Islam, Especially the Muslim Brotherhood trend in the Western region _ Libya through successive governments, Or leaders affiliated with the February trend.
And noteworthy, The explicit deliberate failure to refer to the real association of large groups of these factions with the Karama project under the direct command of Field Marshal Haftar, And the size of active participation in most of its combat operations in Benghazi or central Libya, And finally in its siege of the capital Tripoli in the 2019-2020 war, And their performance of real combat roles, and securing them for military sites, and oil fields, Rather, they have been an important pillar in the various stages of the conflict led by the Karama Project since its announcement in 2014.
- Some Chadian opposition factions intersect in numbers and exchange roles in their correspondence to those who wish to obtain financial and military support from them, That is, the elements under group X can be joined to group Y if the interest so requires, The understanding on the sharing of financial grants is made by the supporting or beneficiary party, This pattern is the prevailing pattern among Chadian armed groups and factions, In its dealings with the political and military forces in northern Libya, They are well aware that many politicians in the north are not.
- There are some of these armed formations that present themselves to the political parties, and military in Libya as being in a state of readiness, to regularize with any security or military effort in exchange for money, It takes advantage of the repeated need of some parties in the Libyan state to recruit mercenaries to perform some tasks, And to strengthen its ranks, It presents itself as Libyan parties belonging to the “Tebu” component, taking advantage once again of the state of impulsiveness that prevails over the leaders of the Libyan armed formations, And the state of clear lack of understanding of the demographics of the people of the south, Here we must acknowledge that most of the conflicting parties in Libya over the course of the inter-conflict were exploited, It uses Chadian armed mercenaries to recruit them into their ranks.
- These Chadian opposition movements, It caused some concern to the component of” Libyan Tebu” who see that the gains that are supposed to be theirs, It is now picking up from the Tabawi and Qaraani parties of Chadian origin, And they know very well that they talk openly about this matter, It may cost them a lot.
The most prominent Chadian opposition factions actually present on Libyan soil
1- Front pour la concord pour la change in Chad (FACT)
- There is no doubt that this front or movement is now the most important opposition movement on the ground, For the nature of its leadership in the scene of Chadian opposition movements and factions, Its name was linked to the killing of former Chadian President Idriss Deby, During the offensive led by this movement in 2021 to overthrow the Idris Deby regime, Although the opposition denied that.
This front was established in real 2015 in the Jufra region in central Libya, After the bloody clash that took place between the elements affiliated with Dr. “Mahdi Muhammad Ali Qaran”, who hails from the “Daza” tribe, And elements of General “Mohamed Nouri”, who hails from “Anakza – Kreida”, This clash caused the death of more than 40 members of both sides, It ended with the victory of the elements of “Dr. Mahdi”, who moved immediately after to declare the “Front of Accord for Change FACT”, Its main camp from which it started was inside a mountainous area in the vicinity of the city of Jufra.
- The movement trained its troops in this camp, whose basic number ranged from 1,500 to 2,000 at most “at that time.” which is the real number of its members, It is not, as marketed by some quarters, that it reaches 4,000 items.
- One of its most prominent field commanders after its founder and leader, “Dr. Mahdi”, whose real name is “Muhammad Mahdi Ali Quran”, Field Commander Saleh Al-Tibawi, He is a leading figure belonging to the Tebu component.
- Before its last offensive 2021 the vehicles they had were from 200 to 300 armed vehicles, But after this attack on the Chadian capital on April 20, 2021, and the situation after its defeat in those clashes after the intervention of Chadian aircraft, it was estimated that the number of their vehicles is now below 150.
Now and certainly, that they are going through very difficult economic conditions, made them have to sell some of their military vehicles and equipment, So that they can secure their administrative cost.
This period most of the forces of the front are deployed in the area of um al-Arnab, “southeast of the city of Sabha”, and some other southern areas invisibly and non-publicly.
- The links of the front changed and changed from the state of regularity with the third force in 2015 – 2016, to a smallpox change in the direction of Haftar especially in the 2019 war, in search of support, Appreciating its leadership by transferring the situation in the future throughout Libya to a single command under the authority of Haftar, During that period, its commander Dr. Mahdi” Benghazi asking for support, And to offer his services more than once.
- There it was confirmed that there was a direct relationship between Dr. Mahdi, the leader of the movement, with the French intelligence services, Because he was in it for more than a quarter of a century This relationship continued positively until 2017, And after this date, You see some sources close to the man, that this relationship “got worse”, As a result of which his bank accounts in France were frozen under the pretext of violating the laws, The talk emerged that the movement’s alliance with Haftar, enabled them to relate definitely to the Russian Wagner forces, which trained some of its elements before the N’Djamena 2021 attack, And some close sources mention, that the Wagner forces were supportive of the Front during their war against the forces of the recent Chadian State.
- It is worth mentioning also here, Until Dr. Mehdi was in Algeria for a while secretly, And so it is believed that there is coordination of some kind with the Algerian security services, He also mentioned some of his supporters from the Chadian opposition.
- It is noteworthy that he has real cooperation and coordination with the project of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi in the recent period, The recent movements of GNA elements in southern Libya without arrangement with Haftar’s forces stationed in the south have also worried the latter.
- Some insiders also stated that the leader of the movement D. Mahdi is currently in one of the African countries, Moving between the countries of the center of the continent invisibly.
- The Front refused to sign in the last Doha dialogue, And it is aware that it is the most important opposition and active faction, And that the effect of not signing it confuses the Chadian authorities, It weakens the chances of success of the expected results of the dialogue – according to her point of view.
2 – Military Council for the Salvation of the Republic of Chad (CCMSER )
- This council was established in 2016 in Libya, After its separation from the Front of Accord for Change FACT, As a result of the power dispute between the “Daza and Kurida” tribes, The front was stationed in the camp of the tenth battalion, And the ninth battalion in the city of Sabha, Some of its members moved to the borders of the regions of Humaira and Qatroun in the far southwest.
- Mohamed Hassan Bulmay assumed the leadership of the separate groups, He supervised the establishment of the Council, He is the young, educated opposition politician coming from France, and managed to organize the ranks of the home front, After its establishment, Commander Mohamed Hakimi took over its military wing.
- After a while, the founder, Mohamed Hassan Bulmay, and his companion, Adam Yacoub, were arrested on the Nigerian border. They were handed over to the Chadian authorities and sentenced to life imprisonment, They were released with a presidential pardon afterwards, Then “Rashid Mohamed Taher” and “Dr. Sharif” took over the duties of leading the Council, They were subsequently dismissed by the Constituent Assembly, After them, the leadership of the Council was taken over by “Muhammad Aqri”.
- The organization talks about owning about 400 armed vehicles in the peak period, and then dissipated as a result of the cessation of funding sources and the increase in its disbursement aspects from the supporting parties, forcing them to sell some of their vehicles repeatedly, to cover the material needs, so the current estimated number does not exceed 150 armed mechanisms, knowing that the number of its members is approximately 2000 individuals, so it is considered one of the strongest factions and equipment, previously before the decline that occurred among its ranks at the end of 2020.
- It is certain that there was a previous association of the leaders of the Front with the third force of Misurata, When the force was present in the south of Libya 2016_2017, Then its leaders chose opportunities to obtain material support, So it had links to some of its elements with Field Marshal Hifter, Indeed, you get some financial and military support from the Eastern Command.
And it is worth mentioning that it was at some point, It seeks to find external lines of communication with which to organize in projects of influence, But she did not succeed in that, According to one of its commanders.
It should be noted here .. Mention the influence that occurred among the general Chadian opposition forces, After some factions backed down from the option of the armed opposition, General Mahamat Hakimi was the Minister of Defense of the Chadian opposition movement.
(CCMSR) the most prominent, Where in early 2021 he defected from the front (CCMSR), He led a military force of 94 armed Land Cruisers heading to Chadian territory, To announce from there that he has abandoned the line of struggle once and for all, to be pardoned by the Chadian regime, Giving him a regular military rank in the Chadian military.
If we know the status of General Hakimi in the ranks of opposition leaders, We can say that the Chadian opposition has suffered a major setback, Not only on the CCMSR front, Rather, it is on all opposition formations.
There are also other factions that have abandoned the armed opposition, After the recent Doha Dialogue, Having signed the peace agreement with the transitional government in Chad, This agreement had a significant impact on the presence of the Chadian opposition on Libyan territory, Where there was a presence of many Chadian opposition forces in southern Libya, gave up her weapons and left military action, It returned with its leaders and personnel to the State of Chad.
3. Ufndjt Front
- Of the movements that are still present in the southern Libyan regions, Its founder, “Dr. Abubakar Tolli”, He is a member of the tribe of “Zaghawa Borgat”, They are calculated on the pumpkin component.
- The most important field commander of the front is called Adam Echernimi, And they have a presence on the Libyan-Chadian border, especially around the Tibesti mountains, The number of individuals belonging to the front is estimated at approximately 200 members, The number of their vehicles is about 30.
- They have contact with successive transitional governments in the western region – Libya, The front had communicated with both sides of the conflict in the 2019 war, It is one of the movements that attended the Doha meeting and did not sign the peace agreement, which was sponsored by the State of Qatar.
4. Chadian Enrahda Movement
- The movement was established in 2003 by some of its leaders, Its cadres were officially activated in 2020 in southern Libya.
- Led by the movement this period: “Dr. Mohammed bin Mohammed”, Belongs to the Qur’an tribe, The military wing is led by Colonel “Mohamed Youssef”, It is considered one of the most prominent actors in the CPCR Alliance – the so-called “Consultative Framework”, Which was formed on the sidelines of the Doha dialogue, The movement has refrained from signing the peace agreement with the Chadian government with a group of other movements .
- Its individuals are estimated at about 150 elements, The number of its vehicles is about 10 armed vehicles, They have a presence in the range of gold mines in the far southwest, Note that some of its elements were present with some armed formations in the western region individually.
5. Rally for Democracy and Change movement
- The movement split from the Salvation Front due to its disagreement with the leader of the Salvation Front, Dr. Mahdi in 2021, and it is under the leadership of “Abdul Rahman Youssef”, who is from the “Daza” tribe, which is the same tribe as Dr. Mahdi, the movement’s largest faction is stationed in the Jufra region, and its number of members is estimated at approximately 200 members, and the number of vehicles is less than 20 armed vehicles.
- They have a direct connection and a complete alliance this period with “Matouk Al-Zadameh”, one of the leaders of Field Marshal Hifter’s Karama project, And depend on them a great deal in performing some tasks, Such as patrolling and protecting checkpoints in the area.
6. Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MGJT)
- This movement was founded by the late “Youssef Taghimi”, a person known for his intellectual and military strength, He was succeeded by his brother, Adam Taghimi.
- This movement is based on the Tabu tribe in southern Libya, And the equation of its movement and the gathering of its members according to the data of the situation, And what is asked of her Belonging to her are characters who now present themselves as Libyan, Most of them were arrested during the Gaddafi regime because of their affiliation with the movement, stationed at checkpoints of the entrances to the Qatroun – Touma and other regions, They gather according to the situation and need.
The relationship of the Chadian opposition with the Tabu component on Libyan territory
It can be said that most Chadian opposition movements have links with the Tebu component of Libyan origin in southern Libya in some way, This correlation varies in terms of strength level and type, This connection is due to:
First : In terms of the language factor: Proficiency in the Tabawi language is a common denominator for most Chadian opposition movements. It can also be said that the difference between the Tabawi language, And the Quranic language is not big, And so it is difficult for most Libyans, distinguish between the Tabu and Qur’an tribes, And sometimes even Zaghawa, Because of their mastery of the dialect and language they all speak.
Second : The intersection of common interests by blood proximity or material benefit from the parties to the conflict in Libya, The Tabu component took advantage of the presence of the Chadian opposition on Libyan territory in many events that took place in the south and in the north on the same level. The Tabu component was able to employ the Chadian opposition in the following:
- In their conflicts and wars with the children of Suleiman throughout the previous period, Also in their conflict with the Tuareg in Ubari.
- Exploitation of the opposition and its members, By recruiting them in battles led by the Karama forces in the name of the Tebu component in the south.
- Employing and exploiting the Chadian opposition, In securing oil fields, camps and military bases in the name of the Tebu component.
- employing the opposition in securing checkpoints, And gates and ports in the southern region.
Infographic shows the size of the Chadian opposition
Accordingly, based on the above… Arguably, The presence of Chadian opposition forces on Libyan territory is a irrefutable fact that is not modern – it has existed since the mid-eighties of the last century _.
That these forces were used in many conflicts, And the wars that happened in the whole country, and by all parties to the conflict, Its presence has been a fertile source for its exploitation and use in settling accounts, and achieve control and influence from all parties, They represent the true face of mercenaries.
So is the Chadian opposition itself that has benefited greatly from the support. And the large financial grants that were required or obtained from all parties to the conflict in the Libyan state, This is something that encouraged her to think about investing her numbers, And its military power that it gained after the February revolution, Taking advantage of the chaos and the spread of weapons that the country is going through, To go to the state of Chad to destabilize the situation in it, And to try to seize power in more than one attempt.
In this context, The Doha dialogue constituted an important turning point for a significant number of Chadian opposition factions present on Libyan territory to take the decision to return to their territories. And open a new page with the ruling regime in Chad, This was an important and pivotal step in weakening the opposition, And significantly reduce its influence and interference in Libyan affairs.
The remaining remnant in southern Libya is from the Chadian opposition, With the stampede of the Libyan political scene, And the wars stopped somewhat, The weakest of this opposition, and limited the possibility of re-scenario of military entry into Chad, Taking advantage of southern Libya as a starting base and supply line.
And it is useful … Now that the Libyan state should start coordinating with the parties sponsoring the reconciliation agreement between the Chadian government and the remaining opposition parties, To reopen another dialogue on Libyan territory, With these factions, which now seem to have reached an impasse and seem to be fully prepared to accept any agreement that guarantees them a safe return, and reach satisfactory results for all.