A Libyan rebel soldier carries ammunition as rebel forces prepare for battle in Ajdabiya on March 2, 2011 while pro Moamer Kadhafi soldiers and mercenaries armed with tanks and heavy artillery stormed the nearby city of Brega, 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of the main eastern city Benghazi, sparking heavy clashes. MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images.
I'm quoted in an article by Drew Hinshaw, West Africa correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, titled "West Africa Rising." Here are my quotes:
More concerning are the mercenaries among the refugees. Estimates of the number of sub-Saharan African soldiers on Qaddafi's payroll range from 300 to a few thousand.
David Shinn, former Ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, is less alarmed.
"The whole mercenary thing is significantly overstated," he says. "I suspect we're talking in the hundreds. They are also dispersed over a fairly wide number of countries, which means that in the case of any single country, the only one that would be particularly concerned would be Chad."
"To me," he adds, "the bigger issue is the workforce."