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Disputes and weapons threaten the PA in Libya

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LIBYAPROSPECT – Heba Mahmoud

After nearly a year from signing the Libyan Political Agreement (PA) last December between Libyan factions to end the conflict and form a national unity government, some voices called, recently, to reset the negotiations and launch another one that includes real players to amend the accord or get a new agreement.

Al-Araby Al-Jadid Website said, in a new report, translated here by LIBYAPROSPECT, that the International Crisis Group regarded the Libyan Political Agreement reached a stalemate, and that there is a need to reset the negotiations between security players to amend the deal.

The Groups warned, in a recent report, of renewed waves of violence around oil ports between forces loyal to the Presidential Council (PC) of the Government of National Accord (GNA), which is fighting Daesh in Sirte, and the House of Representatives (HoR) forces led by General Khalifa Haftar, that controlled the oil crescent.

The international group’s calls coincided with an internal escalation that made things worse. The statements of the head of the PC, Fayez Al-Sarraj, whose government failed to get the HoR confidence, carried a lot of intimidation for his opponents who had refused to recognize the GNA. Al-Sarraj accused certain characters of undermining the implementation of the Political Agreement (PA).

Al-Sarraj accused, in media statements last Thursday, the head of HoR, Aqeela Saleh, Haftar, the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) Governor, Al-Seddiq Al-Kabeer, and the Grand Mufti Al-Sadeq Al-Gheriani, of hindering his government performance. It is the first time for Al-Sarraj to accuse named characters directly He stressed that he has the international support, clarifying that “the participation of international players in London meeting and the American air support in fighting Daesh in Sirte are the best evidence.”

Reports also referred to preparations carried by the unity government to launch a war to liberate the oil ports from Haftar’s forces grip

It is worth mentioning the announcement of Haftar’s spokesperson, Ahmed Mesmary, who said that the army troops are ready to protect its existence in the oil Crescent area.

From his side, the boycotting member of the PC, Omar Al-Aswad, warned of the consequences of war in the oil Crescent area, questioning “the awkward silence of Al-Sarraj about such news” demanding him to get out to deny or prove it. He said that “the PC turned into a war council, not a reconciliation council.”

Interestingly, Misrata, the most powerful politically and militarily and the biggest supporter to the GNA, announced the formation of a political assembly of 11 members from its HoR and State Council members.

The assembly, according to the founding statement, aims at “crystalizing united political opinion that spares the country more conflicts and wars.” The statement refused “the harnessing of the city energies to serve goals of certain factions that might contradict with the country’s interests.”

According to observers, Misrata moves to configure a political movement expressing its opinion reflects general satisfaction about the outcomes of the political accord and prevents the city fighters from participating in more fighting. Such move might lead to a new direction.

In the wake of such political tensions tinged with a close military mobilization, the head of Liberal National Forces Alliance, Mahmoud Gabriel, returned to the front, through statements announcing his refusal to the PA and its outcomes. He said, late Saturday, that “the political deal is a game to sponsor those who have the authority on the ground.”

Opponents of the GNA expressed more than once their support to movements of the head of the Salvation Government affiliated to the General National Congress (GNC), Khalifa Al-Guwel.

The HoR member, Saleh Afhemah, said that the HoR is working to form a national unity government with Al-Guwel’s cabinet after the GNA failed to fill the political gap and solve the pressing problems.

And in a new attitude, the city of Al-Khums, near Misrata city, refused to attend the opening of a power plant along with PC member, Ahmed Mitig, to host Al-Guwel in the opening ceremony.