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libyan crisis

Kobler in political discussions in Tripoli

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On Thursday, Martin Kobler, UN special envoy for Libyan crisis, was in Tripoli, for a political meeting with Serraij (Presidency Council-PC) and State Council President Abdulrahman Sewehli. Kobler has also met some deputies of HoR (House of Representatives) who are now in Tripoli. Kobler told that organization of a meeting between HoR and State Council is the main priority. He told at the end of meetings “Libya will rise again”.

The Libyan National Army lost control of RasLanuf to Benghazi revolutionaries, also town of Sidra was in BDB hands

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The Libyan National Army has admitted that it lost control today of the part of oil terminal town of RasLanuf to the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB). Speaking this evening, LNA spokesman Colonel Ahmed Mismari said that the town’s hospital and a number of other locations were in BDB hands following this morning’s attack which he admitted had come as a surprise. He also accused the BDB of murdering an LNA officer who had been wounded in earlier fighting during the day and taken to the hospital. The BDB had killed him when it took over the hospital, Mismari said. He disclosed that another three officers had been killed in fighting during the day. LNA sources, however, denied that the nearby terminal town of Sidra was also in BDB hands, despite numerous reports to that effect stating that the LNA had  pulled back.

Arab League’s envoy, encourages Serraj to make compromises, based on the Libyan Political Agreement

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In continuing regional efforts to find a solution to the Libya crisis, the Arab League’s special envoy, SalaheddineJamali, has urged FaiezSerraj to make compromises, but still based on the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). In Jamali’s first visit to Libya today since his appointment last November, the two discussed how Libya could pull itself out of the current political deadlock. Thanking the Arab League for its support and Jamali for visiting, Presidency Council (PC) head Serraj said he would offer practical solutions and suggestions at the Arab League summit next month in Amman, Jordan. Jamali also met State Council chairman AbdulrahmenSewehli. According to the State Council, they discussed providing assistance to the “legitimate authorities” in the context of the LPA. Both sides also evaluated the initiatives by Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia. including yesterday’s “Tunis Declaration” Jamali, who is usually based in his home country of Tunisia, last month, met with Egyptian foreign minister SamehShoukry to discuss the Libya crisis. He also met HoR President Ageela Saleh in Tunis. He is yet to meet KhalifaHafter.

Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria have unveiled a fresh initiative to further political reconciliation in Libya

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At the end of two days of talks on Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria have unveiled a fresh initiative to further political reconciliation in the country, but say any solution must be based on the December 2015 Skhirat agreement. The move follows the failure of Egyptian-hosted attempts at a meeting between Presidency Council head FaiezSerraj and the eastern military supremoKhalifaHafter. The three countries hope to organise a successful meeting between the pair. The ‘Tunis Declaration’, signed by Egyptian foreign minister SamehShoukry, Algerian Minister for Maghreb, African and Arab Affairs AbdelkaderMessahel and Tunisian foreign minister KhemaiesJhinaoui, also rejected foreign intervention or the use of force in finding a resolution and called for a unified Libyan military operating alongside the country’s various state institutions. At a press conference in Tunis today, the three said their countries would “step up efforts to achieve comprehensive reconciliation”. However, they added, ultimately “a viable settlement can only be achieved by the Libyan people themselves”. They also announced Algiers would host a further tripartite summit to further explore remedies to the crisis in Libya. No date was given. Tunisian president BejiCaidEssebi joined the deliberations for part of them.

Libya: is France supporting Haftar?

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How confirmed in the last weeks, the real Libyan conflict is between GNA and HoR, which didn’t still ratified UN government. Behind this impasse there is General Khalifa Haftar, very well-liked by Egypt and EAU through weapons supply in the war against Islamic State. And, while France partecipated to G5 meeting in Hannover with Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and United States and discussed about Libya crisis, on the other hand Paris is supporting Egypt to extend its sphere of influence on Cyrenaica and its oil well.

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After that workers at the Marsa el-Hariga terminal had refused to load the shipment which should have to export 650,000 barrels of oil on April 22, Libyan crisis is becoming always more complicated. It’s clear that Tobruk government is trying to control oil well. “This had the potential to be a very ugly incident and I am pleased that it has been resolved peacefully without injury to anybody or loss of revenue or damage to the integrity of NOC or the country,” Tripoli-based Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said.

Not only from oil viewpoint, but also from military one. After that Shura Council pushed out Islamic State fighters from Derna, Hafeth al-Dabaa, a spokesman for Derna Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC), told the BBC that Haftar didn’t freed the city but its warplanes targeted Islamic revolutionaries. And, with LNA, is moving towards Sirte, the Daesh stronghold in Libya.

The Serraj request to support his government to international community especially reguards Haftar. UN support on April 28, when it blocked illicit crude sale towards Malta, could be not enough.

Indeed, Egypt and EAU are directly supporting Tobruk and Haftar. The purpose is to come first to Sirte and defeat Islamic State. Supported by Al Sisi, the General is aiming to become the leader of Libya.

So, French participation to G5 about Libya and the contemporary weapons supply to Egypt are complicating Libyan context. And, above all, the role of Western countries.

Therefore, Libya’s U.N.-backed unity government called on Thursday was necessary to stop all military actions against Islamic State: “In the absence of coordination and unified leadership … the Council expresses its concern that the battle in Sirte against Daesh (Islamic State) will be a confrontation between those armed forces. Accordingly, the Presidential Council, as the supreme commander of army, demands all Libyan military forces wait for it to appoint a joint leadership for the Sirte operation,” the statement said.
Giacomo Pratali

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Giacomo Pratali
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