Emirates Leaks

Hamidati and Haftar… Emirates mercenaries to loot the wealth of Sudan and Libya

The UAE uses its mercenaries in both Sudan and Libya to plunder the fortunes and capabilities of the two countries and spread chaos in them to serve its sabotage plots.

A recent investigation by Reuters news agency exposed the use of the UAE Muhammad Hamdan Diqlo (Hamidati) to loot and steal Sudan’s gold.

After supporting Bashir for many years, Hamidati participated in the military coup that toppled him in April and is now a prominent figure in the transitional government that paves the way for elections within three years. Under the constitution, members of the transitional government are not entitled to engage in private commercial activities.

But a Reuters investigation found that at the time he accused al-Bashir’s men of profit at the expense of the people, Hamidati was a family owned company that transported millions of dollars of gold bars to Dubai, UAE.

Current and former officials and sources from the gold sector said that in 2018, when the Sudanese economy was collapsing, Bashir gave Hamidati a hand to sell gold, the most valuable natural resource in Sudan, through his family’s Al-Junaid Group.

About six sources said that the Junaid Group sometimes exceeded the central bank’s rules for exporting gold and at other times it was selling it to the central bank itself at a preferential price. A central bank spokesman said he had no knowledge of the matter.

Aviation bills and payment vouchers seen by Reuters shed light on al-Junaid’s dealings – a secret kept in a country where two-thirds of its people live below the poverty line.

Documents covering four weeks from the end of last year show that the Junaid Group sent about $30 million worth of gold bars to Dubai, which weighs about a ton.

In the past, Hamidty was speaking openly about owning a business in the gold sector, and he spoke about this recently in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in August.

Hamidati’s control of Sudan’s vital gold sector shows the range of challenges to reforming the economy that has been devastated by mismanagement, corruption and wars for decades.

The export documents and invoices, which cover a period of four weeks at the end of 2018, showed that the Junaid Group was carrying out work with a company in Dubai called Rosella. When Reuters contacted Rosella, the company confirmed that Al-Junaid had had dealings with it.

Rapid Support Forces, numbering tens of thousands of soldiers, are the base of Hamidati’s influence. It is scattered throughout Sudan to protect gold mines and strategic buildings. Thousands of them are fighting for Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the civil war in Yemen. The fighters led by Hamidati are very loyal to him.

Meanwhile, the head of the National Oil Corporation in Libya, Mustafa Sanallah, warned that the UAE would start plundering the country’s oil through the militias of its ally Khalifa Haftar, who aspired to control the sales of the oil sector.

San’a Allah confirmed in an interview with the British Times newspaper that Haftar militias have concluded agreements with Egyptian and Emirati companies to sell Libyan oil at a price of $55 a barrel, while the corporation sells oil at a price of $62 a barrel, according to the changing global market price.

The Government of National Accord in Tripoli controls the oil revenues after exporting the oil shipments under the supervision of the National Oil Corporation, the monthly sales arrive at the account of the external bank of Libya, and then the Central Bank of Libya in Tripoli and distribute them to the state budget in specific sections.

But these measures – apparently – did not satisfy the retired Major General Haftar, who has been trying to control oil sales by launching his forces since last April a war against the legitimate government in Tripoli to control the sovereign institutions in the capital.

During his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron last May, Haftar expressed his dissatisfaction with the failure of his forces to obtain a share of oil sales, according to a French official, which shows that the goal of the war on Tripoli is to dominate oil money by selling to the Emirates, and not combating terrorism as countries market it Supporting him.

Member of the Supreme Council of State Kamal Al-Jatlawi said that the ongoing conflict around Tripoli aims to control Libya’s oil and gas wealth and control the sovereign institutions that obtain sales.

A member of the Economic Committee of the Supreme Council of State considered that the sale of oil in accordance with local legislation and international decisions is an inherent jurisdiction of the National Oil Corporation in Tripoli under enhanced and irreversible credits.

Haftar renews his attempts to obtain oil sales every time after his failure to export oil in June of last year, when he called the Parallel Oil Corporation in eastern Libya to take over the ports and oil fields controlled by his forces in a move that met with international opposition at the time.

Sanallah’s statements raise questions about the reasons for choosing the government loyal to Haftar companies from the Emirates and Egypt that support Haftar’s military campaigns, the latest of which is the war on Tripoli.

Illegal selling of Libyan oil violates international decisions and agreements between the Libyan parties, starting with the Skhirat Agreement and what followed to prevent the illegal export and smuggling of oil and its derivatives, and the exclusive control of the Al-Wefaq government and the Tripoli Petroleum Corporation over the production and export of oil.

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