Libya: recently delivered Mbombe 6 armoured vehicle captured or destroyed, LNA’s capabilities questioned

As the battle to capture the embattled Libyan capital Tripoli continues, forces allied to military commander Khalifa Haftar launched a surprise attack on the Libyan capital Tripoli last month, in an attempt to remove the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

Haftar's forces, the Libyan National Army which claims to be fighting “terrorism” and trying to stabilise Libya are well-equipped as reports from the United Nations reveals that they are being supplied by the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt, despite an arms embargo currently in place.

With the arms provided by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt, arms which includes aircraft, helicopters as well as various armoured vehicle, Haftar's forces were gaining the upper hand in the conflict.

In a apparent response to Turkey delivering dozens of the BMC Kirpi armoured vehicle to forces allied with the GNA, the Jordanian government has delivered an unknown number of its indigenous KADDB Al-Mared 8×8 armoured vehicle, as well as the Paramount Mbombe 6×6 armoured vehicle to Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA).

Some of the South African-made Paramount Mbombe 6x6 armoured vehicle have been pictured either captured or destroyed. Just few days ago, several recent photographs released by the militants loyal to the LNA shows some Mbombe 6x6 vehicle with significant battle damages suggesting that it was hit by either a 23mm cannon or an anti-tank weapon.

An Mbombe 6 with battle damage, possibly hit with either a 23mm or anti-tank type weapon

Furthermore, authentic reports confirms that Forces loyal to the GNA have pushed into areas previously controlled by the Libyan National Army, following a bloody attack on Saturday against them -  south of the capital Tripoli.

Libyan based military experts who spoke to Military Africa faults the LNA for deploying newly delivered military equipment to the battlefield without proper training and familiarisation with it.

Several heavy and medium weapons were used in different parts of the capital during the clash particularly in the Ain Zara region which might have been used to render some of the Mbombe 6x6 mission killed.

These latest development suggests that despite fierce resistance, Khalifa Haftar's forces are not quite as combat proficient as previously believed. Even though Russia, Egypt and the UAE currently supports the LNA because they consider Haftar to be a more viable option to defeat extremism than the U.N-backed GNA.

Libya has served as a nexus for human trafficking in which impoverished migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa are taken to Tripoli before being sent on makeshift vessels toward Italy. At this time, some 3,500 migrants are currently stranded in Tripoli.

Though General Haftar recently met in Paris with President Emmanuel Macron, the Libyan strongman has rejected a French initiative for a ceasefire, claiming conditions were not right. Haftar considers that the U.N.-backed GNA government remains "completely infested by militias."

As the war continues, the United Nations have estimated that more than 75,000 people have fled their homes and 126 civilians have been killed however, not much change is expected until there is finally one united government in Libya.

Darek Liam

Darek Liam is the North African editor for AMB, where he writes about the intersection of Technology and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as African Union correspondent.

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