TRIPOLI: Commander Khalifa Haftar’s forces, backed by Tobruk-based House of Representatives in Libya, started an operation on Thursday against the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), which fights the Sudanese government in Darfur.
According to a written statement by one of Haftar’s forces Kufra military zone commander al-Mabrouk al-Gazwi, an operation named “Rage of Desert” has been launched against the militants of the Justice and Equality Movement.
Haftar is the commander of troops loyal to a rival administration based in Tobruk in eastern Libya.
During the operation, Haftar forces’ warplanes dropped bombs on the militant’s vehicle and killed some of the militants, Gazwi said in the statement.
He also said that patrols deployed in some areas would prevent the militants’ illegal activities in the desert.
Gazwi also stated that the operation would continue until the Justice and Equality Movement militants – who are deployed in the country’s southeast region – are wiped out and security is established.
Since 2003, two main rebel movements – the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement – have fought the Sudanese government in Darfur.
The movement militants are deployed in deserts between Sudan and Libya.
Libya has been dogged by chaos and political uncertainty since 2011 when a bloody uprising led to the ouster and death of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.
The ensuing power vacuum swiftly led to the emergence of several rival seats of government, including one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli, and a plethora of heavily-armed militia groups.