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Arabic press review: Mercenaries sent to fight alongside Haftar in Libya

Frontier Services Group security company linked to Blackwater's Erik Prince reportedly backing Libyan commander, while Egyptians seek a boycott
Heavy smoke rises above buildings during clashes between the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar (AFP)

Mercenaries fighting alongside Haftar in Libya

Mercenaries affiliated to a security company operating in Iraq and the UAE travelled secretly from Iraq to Libya to fight alongside the troops of General Khalifa Haftar, according to electronic newspaper Arabi21

Weeks ago, Haftar launched a military campaign against the internationally recognised government in the city of Tripoli.

Sources told Arabi21 that the Frontier Services Group security company run by Erik Prince, who previously ran the Blackwater security company, had recently sent fighters from Iraq's Kurdish region to Libya to fight alongside Haftar, following a secret deal.

The news site said a subsidiary of the company is based in Dubai but it is still unknown whether the UAE was involved in the operation.

Haftar is known for receiving military and political support from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. A report issued by the UN has shown that Abu Dhabi bought various weapons from many countries and international companies. Those weapons were then used by a militia fighting for Haftar in Libya.

Campaign to boycott prominent Egyptian MP

Egyptians have launched a campaign to boycott a company owned by the chairman of the Egyptian Parliament's Industry Committee, London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reports. 

The company, which is specialised in drying and packing vegetables, is actively involved with Israel and exports its products to Tel Aviv, according to the paper.

The Israeli foreign ministry’s “Israel in Arabic” Facebook page praised the products of the Faragalla company, which is owned by Egyptian businessman and politician Faraj Amer. The Israeli page shared a picture of the company’s packaged products, revealing the relationship.

The Facebook page commented on the picture saying: “Egyptian Jews love chicken Jute mallow. We should not be surprised to find out that it was imported from Egypt and sold as frozen food in our markets in Israel. Food is full with memories."

Egyptians immediately launched a campaign to boycott the MP's company. The Egyptian writer Basant Salama encouraged Egyptians on Facebook to “boycott the products of Faraj Amer... boycott the Faragalla products... Jews are our friends and Zionists our enemies... may the Zionist enemy fall”.

Another social media user wrote: “The companies of the chairman of the Parliament's industry committee and former chairman of the committee on youth and sports are exporting their products to the Zionist entity. Boycott Faragalla company."

Bashir's brother threatens Sudan forests

The company owned by the brother of Sudan's ousted President Omar al-Bashir is threatening forests and trees in Sudan, uprooting huge number of trees and exporting them abroad for profits, Sudanese newspaper al-Rakuba has revealed.

Acacia forests are being destroyed by a Syrian-owned company that works for one of Bashir's brothers, according to the paper. The company exports coal to the Gulf states and Lebanon. The newspaper did not disclose the name of the company and only provided the acronym Q.K.

Journalist Abdel Moneim Suleiman shared a video via his Facebook account showing the number of trees the company had logged. According to Suleiman, the company is cutting down trees and exporting them to the Gulf and Lebanon for huge sums of money.

Sudan's forestry law prohibits logging without the forestry commission’s prior permission, even if the trees are owned by the person who wishes to cut them down, and laws have also long prohibited the export of Acacia wood.

Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.