LIBYAPROSPECT – Editorial
The United Nations envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, said that he repeatedly asked to meet General Khalifa Haftar, but his request was denied.
Kobler called for a meeting between Haftar and head of the Presidential Council (PC) of Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al-Sarraj, to support the Political Agreement (PA).
Even Al-Sarraj told CNN that “the army affiliated to Haftar doesn’t want to yield to the political authority represented in the PC, calling the International Community to provide more support to push the political process forward and end the Libya crisis.”
Al-Sarraj confirmed that the PC is communicating with the main parties, spearheaded by the House of Representatives and the army led by Haftar to resolve the Libyan dilemma.
Repeated attempts by Al-Sarraj, Kobler, and others to convince Haftar to join the dialogue all proved a failure, especially after Haftar forces controlled the oil crescent ports.
Also, statements made by the official spokesperson of Haftar army clearly show insistence to refuse any talks or pacifications, even if that means total surrender to countries in the area and requests of airstrikes inside Libyan lands.
It is worth mentioning that some officials at the Egyptian army acknowledged that Egyptian forces indeed launched airstrikes inside Libya and that they will continue to support Haftar.
Things became more obvious after a video was published the Observatory Facebook page, shows a meeting between Haftar, his official spokesperson, Ahmed Al-Mesmary, and the Military chief of staff, Abdul-Razek Al-Nadhouri.
Clearly, the main reason for the video is that Haftar wanted to prove his wellbeing, but it showed that he is undergoing treatments, that confirmed rumors about his health conditions.
The video contains an explicit statement that Haftar forces are involved in clashes erupted in the city of Zawya, west of Libya; Al-Mesmary said that “they planned for it.” The city witnessed clashes between two tribes, but it was contained through reconciliation committees, and clashes halted within two days.
In the video, Haftar said that “there are different preparations should be taken politically and militarily” despite denying before any intention interferes in the political matter. But here he is mentioning political preparations without mentioning any further details.
Last week, Haftar visited UAE, the visit was more of a political visit more than military one, especially after Al-Nadhouri told Al-Youm7 that “Haftar could rule Libya; he wishes for it.”
The head of the HoR, Ageela Saleh, said that Haftar could switch his military suit and turn into a politician, run for the presidency.
From another side, leaks revealed chaos within Haftar forces; some officials are opposing Haftar after he assigned a new commander for the tanks brigade in Benghazi, replacing its former El-Mahdi El-Barghathi, his competitor for the defense portfolio.
Local Libyan media circulated leaks revealing that the Government of National Accord defense minister, El-Mahdi El-Barghathi, began forming a command chamber for military operations to liberate oil ports since his recent visit to Al-Jufra military base. Other reports revealed that remnants of the Petroleum Facilities Guards exist in the area.
According to one source, chaos among Haftar supporters reached politicians, some HoR members, close to El-Barghathi, demanded the dismissal of the prime minister of Interim Government of the HoR, Abdulla Al-Thinni, investigating his recent decisions. He added that “such decisions are about the discharge of interior minister, Mohamed Al-Fakhry, and the arrest of the prominent official close to El-Barghathi, Salem Qadeer.”
The same source revealed the suspicious absence of some Haftar aids, including air forces commander Saqer Al-Jouroshi, pointing that “the man no longer attends meetings, no one knows where he is.”
In the same context, Al-Araby Al-Jadid website quoted one source saying that “French position towards Haftar has changed, Paris no longer wants to support him, three of its forces died last month near Benghazi, and lost another five last week, while Haftar visited UAE searching for solutions.”
The source added that “turmoil is increasing in Benghazi, it is undoubtedly linked to developments regarding Libyan elements died along with French in Malta, besides, Haftar decision to dismiss El-Barghathi from Benghazi without any regard to his affiliates in the city.”
Al-Nadhouri pointed, last month, to suspicious movements by elements affiliated to Haftar, vowing “punishment for the mastermind without naming him.”
From his side, Al-Thinni warned of any moves that aim at “destabilizing the army from inside” about “disputes among Haftar officials.”
It is worth mentioning that Benghazi, Haftar main battlefield, is witnessing series of explosions and assassinations of Haftar supporters and opponents.