The Presidential Council (PC) and the Government of National Accord (GNA) have denounced the violences which took place on Tripoli Martyr Square this Friday. The manifestation had been organized to call General Haftar to bring his Army inside Tripoli to stabilize the country. But during the protest someone has opened the fire on the crowd. At this time (18/03) we still haven’t got any precisions on the number of injured or killed.
Recent violences in the Oil Crescent against LNA (Libyan National Army) and Haftar’s forces from BDB (BengazhiDefence Brigade) have pushed a lot of tribes, especially from the East to sustain LNA. These tribes, have also condemned the common call of UK, US and France to stop hostilities, wich is “suspicious and inaceptable”. For Egypt, is annoyed of the fact that Haftar has refuted to meet his Tripolis’ counterpart last month. The BDB, for his own, argues that LNA has forced 300,000 peoples to flee Bengazhi three years ago.
Spokesperson of Dignity Operation Ahmed Al-Mismari threatened on Monday to sweep away Libya’s oil crescent region after failing to repel the advance of Benghazi Defense Al-Mismari had confirmed his willingness to eradicate the opposition from this part of Libya, especially due to its economic importance. Furthermore, he has also threaten Tripoli. He concludes his brief speech telling that : “We defeated those terrorists several times and we are ready to defeat them again”.The conflict around the oil crescent seems to be at the beginning of a long process of tensions between both until an agreement or the full destruction of one or the other force in presence.
After his rely controversial “Muslim-Ban” published on 27th January, US’ President Trump, had cancelled the former to replace it by a new one. This new “Muslim-Ban” the US refugee program and ban during at least 90 days, citizens from: Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya. This travel ban was signed out of presence of cameras, respect to the first one. Iraq was removed from the list after criticism that the original order overlooked the country’s role in fighting terrorism and barred entry even to the Iraqi interpreters who had been embedded with US forces in the region. This new “Muslim-Ban” has provoked new protestations against Trump administration. This new tensions will not manage in a good way Amercian relations with Muslim.
This reality has profound implications for the future of the country, partly Because of a dramatic new development – the entry of Russia into the diplomatic mix. The battle Began last week When militias based in central Libya drove 100 miles across the desert to attack Libya’s oil hub ports, Sidra and nearby RasLanuf. Those terminals link to the massive Oil Crescent, home to the bulk of Libya’s oil. Quite simply, who controls this Crescent controls Libya. For public consumption, the militias brand Themselves the Benghazi Defence Brigades, Extremists kicked out of Benghazi When most of the city was liberated by the Libya National Army (LNA) last year. In fact, they comprise various Al Qaeda elements, units from the Petroleum Facilities guard kicked out of the oil ports last year by the LNA, fighters from Misrata, and, according to Functional the LNA, mercenaries from Chad. But the attack did not go as planned. Yes, the militias got to the ports, but no, they did not get inside them. Both ports are defended by the LNA and rather than internships to full-on assault, the militias contented with Themselves Occupying deserted residential areas and workers’ accommodation outside the ports. That will test a major strategic weakness, Because the LNA is averse to bombing port infrastructure, but less worried about bombing empty accommodation blocks. An LNA counter attack is now going on, and it will crush the militias in the coming days, leaving the balance of power as it was – Which is to say, with Haftar.
America, until now the key backer of the GNA, has fallen away. The new administration of President Donald Trump has yet to give definitive comments on Libya, but is expected to designate Muslim Brotherhood, one of the key factions in the GNA, as a terrorist organisation. As such, that would rub out any US support for the GNA and leave it floundering, and both Al Sarraj and Haftar know it. Whereas the erstwhile administration of former US president Barack Obama viewed Muslim Brotherhood as a positive non-violent expression of Islamism, Trump officials view it with suspicion, accusing it of links with violent groups. Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon has long made combatting Muslim Brotherhood his cause celebre. Yet, it is likely to suffer if the US designates it as a group supporting terrorism. Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, used his confirmation hearing last month to equate Brotherhood with Al Qaida: “The demise of IS [Daesh, or the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] would also allow us to devote our attention to other agents of radicalism like Al Qaida, Muslim Brotherhood and certain elements within Iran”.
Members of Libya’s High Council of State have agreed to meet a delegation from the Libyan House of Representatives in Cairo as part of talks hosted by Egypt to reach a political settlement to the Libyan civil conflict, according to Egypt’s army spokesman. Egypt’s Army Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazi, who is mediating talks between Libyan factions, received on Thursday the delegation from Libya’s High Council of State with the attendance of Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry. Talks were held on Monday and Tuesday between the chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council Fayaz Al-Sarraj, who is based in the capital Tripoli in the west of the country and is recognised by the UN as the country’s president, and Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar and Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh, who both represent the House of Representatives in eastern Libya’s Tobruk. Attendants of the meeting expressed their appreciation for the Egyptian role to reach a solution to the Libyan crisis, calling on Libya’s House of Representatives to make use of this opportunity to save the situation in the country. Over the past months, Cairo has held meetings with different Libyan political factions, where Egypt has stressed the need for a political consensus to end the crisis in the country.
A military leadership will never take hold of Libya” Belhaj told Middle East Eye. “Haftar has no chance at ruling this country at all and the coming days will attest to this”.Belhaj, who heads the al-Watan Party, is based in Tripoli where the UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA) has held power since December 2015. But the GNA’s authority faces huge challenges. Egypt-allied Haftar and the head of the Presidential Council of the GNA, Fayez Al-Sarraj, met in Cairo earlier this week as part of a series of Tunisian-Algerian-Egyptian initiatives aimed at resolving Libya’s crisis. Although Sarraj and Haftar refused to meet face-to-face, they agreed to honor a plan to create a joint committee to negotiate reconciliation and elections by February 2018, despite lingering tensions. The discussions revolved around forming a mini-government that would have a unified military council headed by Haftar in cooperation with military officers from all across Libya. The initiative reportedly gathered support from Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, three countries that have over the past months been involved in mediation efforts focused on launching a Libya-Libya dialogue for national reconciliation. Despite the combined pressure from Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt to resume peace talks, the political process is unlikely to move forward in the foreseeable future because on the one hand Haftar is convinced he doesn’t need a deal and the other side is very fragmented.