Guns for Hire

Atlantic Council

The Guns for Hire podcast is a production of the Atlantic Council’s North Africa Initiative. Taking Libya as its starting point, it explores the causes and implications of the growing use of mercenaries in armed conflict. The podcast features guests from many walks of life, from ethicists and historians to former mercenary fighters. It seeks to understand what the normalisation of private warfare tells us about the world as we currently find it, but also about the future of the international system and about what war could look like in the coming decades. Written and hosted by Dr Alia Brahimi. read less

Mercenary bloodline: The war in Sudan
Jul 6 2023
Mercenary bloodline: The war in Sudan
In this bumper episode on the war in Sudan, host Alia Brahimi speaks with the former US government expert on Sudan, Cameron Hudson, about the mercenary pedigree of the Rapid Support Forces and its transformation from a ragtag Arab militia into an institutional juggernaut. Cameron argues that this mercenary history has had a determinative impact on the conflict: it has generated a cash windfall which allows the RSF to recruit in numbers to rival the size of the national army; it has forged regional relationships that are now central to the RSF’s resupply; and it feeds a detached mercenary mentality amongst RSF fighters that facilitates war crimes and abuses. As mercenaries from multiple Sahelian states flood into Sudan, Cameron also contends that the conflict in Sudan is becoming a pan-African conflict in ways that are not yet understood.  They discuss, too, the role of the Wagner Group in the war in Sudan and the status of Libya as a major source of resupply for the RSF.  Alia also chats with Professor Munzoul Assal of the University of Khartoum about the danger of two parallel governments emerging in Sudan along the lines of the bifurcation in Libya. Munzoul also discusses, the presence of RSF fighters at the Sudanese border with the Central African Republic where the Wagner Group is deeply entrenched, as well as the clear and alarming possibilities for a regional conflagration.The Guns for Hire podcast is written, produced and hosted by Dr Alia Brahimi.