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Ajdabiya between Jadhran, Haftar and IS

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By: Omar Elkeddi*

The Islamic State group (IS) exposed its intentions of controlling

Omar Elkeddi
Omar Elkeddi

the oil crescent area, where the biggest oil ports in Libya, and the biggest petrochemicals complex in Ras Lanouf, when its elements attacked, Last Monday, Al-Sedra gate using two suicidal bomb cars. But the Petroleum Installations Guards managed to stop the attack which won’t be the last.

After that, the commander of Petroleum Installations Guards, Ibrahim Jadhran waged attack against general Khalifa Haftar, describing him and the IS group as “two faces of one coin”. Jadhran said, Monday, that “Haftar want to ruin and destruct Ajdabiya, as he did in Benghazi, that’s why Installation Guards didn’t interfere at any clashes in the city during the last days”. Jadhran described the IS as an enemy, the same as all those seeking the return of military ruling, stressing his support for establishing a country with powerful democratic institutions managed by laws.

Ajdabiya confrontations seem ambiguous like the city itself. while the army command stress the existence of the IS inside the city, inhabitants deny the existence of the group, what do exist are some Salafist groups whose names are related to their strongholds outside the city such “Emirate 18 km”.  Some regard that fight as natural extension for the traditional dispute between Red Barqa and White Barqa, specially that Jadhran didn’t participate in the fight nor in the side with Haftar or Ajdabiya citizens, and acted according to strategic logic better than that of Haftar who hasn’t separated from the beginning between Shield forces and Ansar Al-Sharia and made Benghazi fight continue forever.

Jadhran, who controlled oil crescent area from Zidan government, before granted more than 300 million Dinars, regarded crescent area as the “fragile frank of Libya”, his existence in the area enables him to make alliances with international companies contributing in the Libyan oil industry, spearheaded by the Italian Enni. Jadhran thought that his retreat toward Ajdabiya would leave the “fertile crescent” to the IS.

The Presidential Council commended, Monday, the heroic role of the Petroleum Installations Guards, and announced in a statement that “it is convening constantly to closely follow events in the oil crescent”, while article 8 of the Political Agreement caused sever dispute during meetings of the Presidential Council (PC), as it states that “high sovereign posts of the state, including military and security, will become empty after 20 days from signing the agreement”, which made the two vice-President, Fathy Al-Magbary and Ali Al-Qatrani, threat to withdraw from the session and suspend their membership in the Presidential Council in case article 8 not freeze; of course both of them are defending Haftar.

Suddenly, every thing changed, and Jadhran turned from criminal and arms smuggler between Libya and Chad, to the only hope for the Presidential Council in stopping inspirations of the IS in the oil crescent, while the supreme commander of the Libyan army turned to be “thorn in the throat”.

The PC has no choice but to move all powers of the sovereign positions to him, or, as member of the House of Representative, Ali Tekbaly, leaked, the PC may appoint Haftar as the Defense Minister, which is smart solution similar to kicking upwards, appointing Haftar would force him to remove his military uniform and then the chief of staff position would be the highest military post in the country again.

The fight between Jadhran and Haftar isn’t only a fight between two persons whose fates are related to Chad, but it is a fight outside historical and social frames of Barqa, a fight between two ambitions that 17th Feb. revolution allowed to breath away from daydreams. Jadhran sees Haftar as the captive of Chad, who returned as Kont De Mounti to revenge those responsible for this captivity, regardless of the future of the country, either success or failure, while Haftar sees Jadhran as “Chadian” appeared suddenly in Ajdabiya and oil crescent, like the Chadian Abdallah Qaga, who appeared in Ajdabiya when Idris Senussi took command after Ahmed Al-Sherif, then Zwia and Maghareba sheiks obeyed.

*A Libyan Writer

Translated By LIBYAPROSPECT: Source