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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Khalifa Haftar: A true leader of Libya

Guest post by Adel Karim
March 8, 2017

(This is a submitted article, reflecting the author's opinion).

In the run-up to the presidential elections the internal situation in Libya is getting sharper.
This situation has affected not only ordinary people, but the separated Libyan tribes and communities. Many of them began to realize that their choice will determine the whole country's future.

Thus, many tribal leaders and Libyans believe that Khalifa Haftar is currently the only person able to reunify the country, and provide its stability and security. He is considered to be a man who will return peace and prosperity to the country.

Representatives of the Supreme Council of the Libyan Tribes and Cities believe that the current situation in Libya is affected by controlled chaos aimed at prolonging the political and economic crisis.

Analysts estimate that such an opinion reflects the nation's mood. According to different sources, more and more Libyans support the LNA's leader Khalifa Haftar's policy. It is also evidenced by his increasing international influence.

At the talks held on July 25 in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron held a meeting between Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. The negotiations led to the road map that was formulated to settle the Libyan crisis and to the truce agreement between the parties. It was also stressed by Macron at the press conference.

Besides, last December supporters of Khalifa Haftar held demonstrations in Benghazi, Tobruk and Tripoli calling on him to take charge of the country. A lot of Libyans believe that the Government of National Accord headed by Fayez al-Sarraj is no longer legitimate. They condemn Sarraj's policy that led to the uprising of many fragmented factions controlled by foreign countries like Turkey or Qatar. 

Libyan tribes share the same point of view. Their leaders are reportedly showing greater support for Haftar due to their belief that he can be the one to stop the terror in the country and deal with extremist groups that make obstacles on the way of government's restoration.

Apparently, Libyans are divided between two political forces. However, more and more people realize that their vote will determine the country's fate. That's why they are ready to put away all the disagreements of the past and unify under one common goal.


  1. I've had this up for days, finally a short comment at least. With a little searching and asking around, I totally cannot endorse Haftar as a clearly great choice. There are signs pointing different ways, or seeming to (I really don't know which way things point). I didn't see much for great alternatives, and didn't really learn much, so I'm not going to say much for or against at the moment. He could be a least-of-several-evils choice, but maybe not even that. I have a few specifics, thoughts, and opinions probably worth sharing, maybe in more comments or in a post, depending... not right now though.

  2. http://www.libyanexpress.com/libyas-state-oil-firm-confirms-recapture-of-oil-terminals-by-haftars-forces/

    22June 2018 The Chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mustafa Sanallah confirmed on Friday that Khalifa Haftar’s so-called “Libyan National Army (LNA)” had regained control of the key oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Sidra, saying he hoped operations would resume in the “next couple of days”.
    Khalifa Haftar announced Monday the handover of oil installations under the control of his self-styled army to an administration that rivals Libya’s UN-backed government, after retaking them from militias.
    The strongman’s announcement came just hours after his “Libyan National Army ” said it had driven a rival force out of the country’s oil crescent and regained “full control” of the area.
    Jalel Harchaoui, a scholar focusing on Libya geopolitics at Paris 8 University told Libyan Express: “When the Oil Crescent attack occurred earlier this month, the Haftar camp showed an explicit willingness — rightly or wrongly — to use the security crisis as an opportunity to discredit and weaken the government of national accord in Tripoli.”
    He added “The LNA’s announcement that it is now going to work with the Benghazi NOC and bypass the institutions in Tripoli, fits in the policy above.”“The Paris Summit on May 29th saw Haftar commit to working constructively with the GNA on making sure peaceful elections take place by December 10th, 2018. The Oil Crescent debacle made it possible for Haftar to do the exact opposite.” Harchaoui explained.

    27 June 2018
    T he UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres voiced concern at developments in Libya’s oil crescent on Wednesday, calling for de-escalation and the return of oil resources to recognized authorities, his spokesman said in a statement.
    28/6/2018 The United States, Britain, France and Italy rejected on Wednesday Haftar’s decision to transfer oil ports to the parallel National Oil Corporation, demanding that it be kept under exclusive control of the legitimate Oil Corporation in Tripoli.
    In a joint statement, the four countries expressed their concern over the decision of the Haftar Forces on the transfer of the management of oil ports to an illegal entity, stressing that the international community will hold accountable those who undermine the peace, security and stability of Libya.
    The four nations called on all armed parties to immediately withdraw from oil facilities with no conditions before further damage, warning of attempts to evade the Security Council resolutions.


  3. 16 June 2018 The sources told Libya News 24 that the battalion Tariq bin Ziad, arrested on Saturday night, the leader of the Ansar al-Sharia in Derna terrorist Sufian Ben-Qammu in the axis of the Eastern province of Derna. The sources said that Ben Qamu was transferred quickly to the headquarters of the Libyan Army General Command in the area of Rajmeh to investigate. https://www.libyaakhbar.com/libya-news/680664.html

    17th October 2017 Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar https://libyastories.com/tag/cyrenaica/
    As expected, he has reached an agreement with the Warfella tribe based around Beni Walid. He has raised the new 27th Infantry Brigade for recruits from the Warfella under the command of Colonel Abdulla al- Warfella.
    However, the tribe has long been at odds with the Misuratans who conducted a siege of Beni Walid in 2012 on the pretext of flushing out Gaddafists who were said to have been afforded refuge there. The story of the siege and something of the history of the enmity between the Warfella and the Misuratans may be found here.

    28/5/2017 East Libyan military strongman Halifa Haftar earlier this month launched an offensive to oust jihadist fighters from their two remaining strongholds in Benghazi.

    The group lost its leader, Mohammed Azahawi, in clashes with Haftar’s forces in Benghazi at the end of 2014.
    Most of its members then defected to the so-called Islamic State group. Ansar al-Sharia later joined the Revolutionary Shura Council of Benghazi, a local alliance of Islamist militias.At its zenith, Ansar al-Sharia was present in Benghazi and Derna in eastern Syria, with offshoots in Sirte and Sabratha, western Libya. The organization took over barracks and other sites abandoned by the ousted Gaddafi forces and transformed them into training grounds for hundreds of jihadists seeking to head to Iraq or Syria.
    8th October 2013 The Tunisian salafi jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AST) is presumed responsible for these murders, and Belhadj has, in turn, been accused of sheltering AST head Abu Iyadh al-Tunisi in the aftermath of the killings.


  4. The parliament in Libya's eastern city of Tobruk has sworn in Mohammed al-Shukri as the country's new governor bank governor, the Libya Observer tweeted on Monday."Mohamed Al-Shukri is sworn in by the House of Representatives as a new governor of Central Bank of Libya amid rejection from the High Council of State and current governor Siddiq al-Kabir," read the tweet.
    The Tripoli-based High Council of State, also known as the Supreme Council of State is Libya's top advisory body. It rejected Shukri's December appointment by the Tobruk parliament, claiming the appointment of such top posts must be approved by both sides under the UN-sponsored 2015 Libyan political accord between the country's rival Tobruk and Tripoli based factions.
    The UN is mediating talks between the Tobruk-based parliament and the UN-backed unity government in Tobruk led by premier Fayez al-Serraj which are aimed at ending the country's long-running political crisis.

    Revelations about the Libyan payments to Sarkozy surfaced in March 2011, when the specter of an imminent NATO intervention loomed large.Gaddafi first asserted that he paid Sarkozy’s campaign in an interview two days before the first NATO bombs were dropped. His son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi made similar claims shortly thereafter. In 2012, the French investigative news website Mediapart published a Libyan document signed by Moammar Gaddafi’s spy chief, Moussa Koussa, arranging for 50 million euros to support Sarkozy’s campaign, which French authorities later found to be authentic.

    September 30, 2016 Death of Libyan minister linked to Sarkozy election funding 'highly suspicious'
    Ghanem and el-Meyet 13 Jul 2008
    the shared assessment of Ghanem and el-Meyet is that meaningful economic and political reform will not occur while al-Qadhafi is alive. - Reference id aka Wikileaks id #161860, Subject: National Oil Corporation Chairman Shukri Ghanem May Seek To Resign Soon, Origin: Embassy Tripoli (Libya) Cable timeSun, 13 Jul 2008 14:47 UTC,[10]


  5. construction firm Lafarge December 14-17- 2010 visit
    The French ruling class was intent on boosting its market share in Libya. Before a December 14-17 visit—by French banks Crédit Agricole and Société Générale, engineering firms Alstom and Thales, and construction firm Lafarge—Maghreb Confidential wrote: “French firms are determined to climb higher in the ranks of Libya’s trading partners. Italy is currently in number one position, with China second and France a distant sixth.”According to Bechis, however, these visits provided cover for French military officials to sound out opposition in the Libyan military.
    Interestingly, the wheat-trading visit was originally scheduled for October, but French officials postponed it to November, citing the October oil strikes in France. This meant that the visit took place after final signature of the November 2 military alliance between Britain and France, the two main European powers bombing Libya.
    On February 17 Maghreb Confidential wrote, “Benghazi has long been a thorn in Colonel Kadhafi ‘s side. Libya’s second-largest ‘Egyptian’ city has historically been a hotbed of rebellion, and it is living up to its reputation. Of eight activists arrested in recent days, six belong to the February 17 Movement, named after the bloody crackdown on anti-government demonstrators in Benghazi on February 17, 2006. They are Farj Charrani, Fathi Boukhris, Ali Ounes Mansouri, Safiddin Hilal Sahrif, Jalal Kouafi, and, of course, [Jamal] Al Hajji.”
    Bechis comments, “But it was too late: Gehani had already prepared a revolt in Benghazi with the French.”
    2011 Zakaria Abdelrahman al-Jihani, 24, left his military post on February 15 to return to Benghazi, his hometown.
    Standing guard inside a former regime prison in Benghazi on Friday guarding a stockpile of returned weapons, al-Jihani said he had joined the army in 2004 and become a member of the Thafeda Bashariya, a naval commando unit. Before the uprising, his unit was assigned to guard an important oil installation at Ras Lanuf, several hundred kilometers west of Benghazi, near the Gaddafi stronghold of Sirte. AJE
    Qatar Connection
    A team of about 60 Qataris helped set up rebel command centers in Benghazi, the mountain city of Zintan and later in Tripoli, according to Qatari Staff Colonel Hamad Abdullah al-Marri, who later accompanied Mr. Belhaj on the march into Tripoli on Aug. 22, broadcast live on al-Jazeera. Mr. Marri said that during the rebel training, he interacted with about 30 Western liaison officers, including Britons, French and several Americans.
    Dwarfing the French contribution was that of Qatar,which allegedly supplied militias connected to the NTC with eighteen shipments amounting to 20,000 tons of weaponry.67
    Qatar went much further, later admitting that it had “hundreds” of troops “in every region”
    fighting against Qaddafi’s forces. This was confirmed by a senior figure from the NTC.68

    Friday, 9 June 2017 Arab powers list 59 individuals as Qatar-linked terrorism supporters
    28. Hamad Abdullah Al-Futtais al-Marri - Qatari

    23. Ali Mohammed Mohammed al-Salabi - Libyan
    24. Abdelhakim Belhadj - Libyan
    25. Mahdi Harati - Libyan
    26. Ismail Muhammad Mohammed al-Salabi - Libyan
    27. Al-Sadiq Abdulrahman Ali al-Ghuraini - Libyan

  6. A second group was also part of Qaddafi’s state but was associated with his son Saif al-Islam’s supposed efforts to reform and modernize from within. These included Mahmoud Jibril, who left a university position in the United States to head Libya’s National Economic Development Council in 2007 and became the head of the NTC’s Executive Board; Ahmad Jehani, his deputy; Muhammad al-Alaqi, a former justice minister; and others.
    Mr. Jehani served as a Minister of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, and as a Chairman of the Stabilization Teams for the Free Libya. For over thirty years, Mr. Jehani worked at the World Bank in a variety of capacities, including Senior Advisor to the Board of Directors, Country Director in the Caucasus Region, negotiator and policy advisor. Mr. Jehani studied at Harvard Law School, at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and at the University of Libya where he qualified for degrees in Law, Finance and Economics.
    al Khatib has served on the boards of director not only of Lafarge Jordan Cement Company
    March 1 2011 UN Envoy Al Khatib Is On Board of Jordan Ahli Bank, Links With Libya Central Bank By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive
    UN Envoy Al Khatib Is On Board of Jordan Ahli Bank, Links With Libya Central Bank
    UNITED NATIONS, March 8 -- In selecting Abdul Ilah al Khatib as the UN's envoy on Libya, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon moved quickly -- maybe too quickly.
     Since serving as the foreign minister of Jordan, describe even some close to Ban as an autocracy, al Khatib has served on the boards of director not only of Lafarge Jordan Cement Company but also of Jordan Ahli Bank.
    Jordan Ahli Bank is active beyond that country's borders. A sample connection: along with Libyan Foreign Bank, a fully owned subsidiary of the Central Bank of Libya, Jordan Ahli Bank is a top 20 shareholder of Union de Banques Arabes et Francaises.
    Could there be conflicts of interest? Did the UN's Ban administration even consider these? http://www.innercitypress.com/un1nairobi031111.html

  7. 28/4/2018 Lafarge was working for the French Secret Services in Syria
    The French judicial investigation into the relationship between the French group Lafarge and jihadist groups committed to destabilizing the Syrian government, has just shed light on the close ties between this transnational and the French Secret Services.
    Lafarge is a transnational group whose core business is manufacturing cement. Judge Charlotte Bilger, tasked with investigating into a complaint filed by several of Lafarge’s former employers, has ended up extending her investigations into the group’s activities in Syria. Finally, the judge has ended up asking if Lafarge provided cement to the Islamic Emirates (Daesh). http://www.voltairenet.org/article200956.html

    French judiciary accuses Lafarge of complicity in crimes against humanity committed in Syria 29 June, 2018
    The French judiciary has officially accused Lafarge Holcim of cement of complicity in crimes against humanity committed in Syria, a judicial source said Thursday.The investigation into the company's practices in the war-torn country since 2011 was opened last year on suspicion of funding a "terrorist entity" in Syria. Lafarge admitted to paying money to armed groups for the continuation of one of its factories.Investigators in 2017 put former senior managers in Lafarge and Lefarge Holcim (the French Lafarge and Swiss Holms merged in 2015) into a formal investigation.
    Lafarge is suspected of paying money to armed groups between 2011 and 2015, through intermediaries, worth more than 12 million euros.
    Among these groups was the Daash organization, which received a share of the money to allow its factory in Syria to continue its industrial activities.

  8. 30/6/2018 Libya finance minister: Political divide blocking economic reform
    Al-Monitor interviewed GNA Finance Minister Osama Hamad on April 24 about the impact of the political division on the economic situation in Libya and the nature of relations between the two Ministries of Finance. The interview, by phone, also touched on reconstruction plans. In February, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that the cost of reconstruction will exceed $80 billion. Hamad explained that he has called for postponing plans for reconstruction until after the elections to be held this year because the project requires decisions that should be made by a government representing the will of all Libyans.
    Demonstrators protest against the General National Congress at Martyrs' Square in Tripoli, Libya, Nov. 9, 2013.
    Muhammad Abdul Rauf Asari of the tribe locals Zliten joint in the aggression against Tripoli
    Ahmed Ali Futaisi tribe Folks Zliten joint the criminal Bady militias in the aggression against Tripoli
    Tuesday, 30 July 2013 "There is a very small private sector and the way forward is to build the economy through the private sector," said Ahmed Ben Halim of Libya Holdings Group.
    29 April 2015 Striking news from Libya this week with the announcement that an investor with international backing wants to buy the majority stake in the Libyan Cement Company.
    Libya holdings owner Ahmed Ben Halim is in the process of buying out the Austrian Group Asamer that originally bought a majority share for US$145m back in 2008. Most of the remaining share was owned by the Economic and Social Development Fund. Taking over the company now seems bold from a European perspective or Ahmed Ben Halim got a very good price. No financial information regarding the deal has been made public. http://www.globalcement.com/news/item/7456-german-investors-to-build-cement-plant-in-libya
    2011 The family of Tariq Ben Halim, 40, a wealthy businessman from the Gargaresh district of western Tripoli and the grandson of a prime minister in Libya's pre-Gaddafi era, is a case in point
    A gang of armed thugs from the Interior Ministry came for Mr Halim at midnight on May 22 because they suspected he was financing the rebels.http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/after-celebrations-the-pain-for-lost-ones-in-libya-lingers/story-e6frg6so-1226133395591
    felixJune 18, 2012 at 10:58 PM oh, not forgetting Tarek Ben Halim طارق بن حليم من طرابلس in the list of victims, son of a former prime minister,Mustafa Ben Halim.(Mansour Ben Halim appears in the same line) Tarek died of brain cancer in December 2009. How strange.
    April 12, 2014 The Court of khums Trial Criminal Court on Thursday postponed the trial of the accused of the case of the "massacre of the container" to (15) of May next, according to the Libyan News Agency.
    The court judge attributed the delay to the failure to bring the accused to the court and the absence of lawyers for the accused The massacre of the container is one of the hideous atrocities committed by the Brigades of the former regime, which resulted in the deaths of (19) youths of the rebels after the practice of various kinds of torture against them and put them in an iron container to witness the suffocation inside on June 6 2011

  9. We, the undersigned, hereby register, in the strongest possible terms, our denunciation of the admission by the Libyan regime, after almost 15 years, of responsibility for the Lockerbie tragedy of December 1988. We further condemn and utterly reject Colonel Gaddafi’s and the Libyan regime’s acquiescence to pay, out of Libyan public funds, $2.7bn in compensation to the victims’ families.
    77. Mustafa Ben Halim (former Prime Minister)
    82. Miftah Lamlum 83. Dr Mansour O Kekhia
    86. Nouam Benotman
    Friday, 7 May, 2010: Noman Benotman, a former top tier member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and a mujahadeen who fought along with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, has helped broker "reconciliation" between members of his former group and the Libyan government. Benotman's strategy has been to intellectually challenge the Islamic narrative bin Laden and his fellow travelers push. And there is some evidence Benotman and others who concur with his approach have been effective. Recently, I visited Libya as a guest of the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation and met Benotman, and a number of the Islamic clerics who were working to bring about not only reconciliation between Gaddafi's government and jailed Islamists but who were trying to export to other countries in the region an alternative reading of key Islamic principles that they feel bin Laden, al Zawahiri and others are manipulating. [Palestine Note] More http://www.libya-watanona.com/news/n2010/may/0510nwsc.htm
    14 February 2011

    Quilliam has this morning published a briefing paper,‘Building a Libyan coalition’,that outlines how the international community can work with anti-Gaddafi forces in Libya to create a broad national coalition that can:
    a.) Coordinate opposition to Gaddafi’s surviving regime
    b.) Prevent the newly liberated areas of Libya from collapsing into chaos
    c.) Encourage Gaddafi’s remaining supporters to lay down their arms and rally neutral Libyan tribes to support the opposition
    d.) Provide a point of contact for the international community
    e.) Evolve into a broad-based interim government that can ultimately prepare the way for a peaceful transition towards democracy in Libya

    Mohammed Ali Abdallah, the deputy secretary-general of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya.
    12 Sep 2011 Inside Story, with presenter Divya Gopalan, discusses with guests: Faraj Najem, a historian and the author of Tribes, Islam and State in Libya; Noman Benotman, a senior analyst for de-radicalisation at Quilliam Foundation and the former head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which he left in 2002; and Mohammed Ali Abdallah, the deputy secretary-general of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya.


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