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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Haftar allies reject Security Team of UN-brokered Government of National Accord

- Deputy Prime Minister of the UN-supported Libyan Government of National Accord(GNA), Ali Al-Gotrani, rejected the 18-member temporary security committee that might make it possible for the GNA to move to Tripoli.

Al Gotrani said in a complaint letter to Sirraj. the designated PM of the GNA:
 "We strongly reject the formation of the committee without concord or vote from the presidency council. We will never accept this committee which includes controversial figures who led armed militias."Al-Gotrani demanded that the committee contain only officers from the LNA or the police. This is surely unrealistic. The Tripoli area is controlled by Libya Dawn militias for the most part. They are the main armed forces of the General National Congress government, located in Tripoli. To send forces from the Libyan National Army and police would in effect send enemy forces into Tripoli and almost ensure violence.
The announcement contrasts with the recent statement from the GNA Presidency Council praising the role of the Libyan National Army in its attempts to eliminate terrorism from Benghazi and Libya in general. Haftar, the commander in chief of the Libyan National Army includes Libya Dawn, the main militia supporting the GNC as terrorists. In this case, the release of the statement was objected to by anti-Haftar members of the GNA who claimed the statement was issued without the approval of the Presidency Council.
The committee will be headed by Brigadier-General Abdurrahman Attawil and Major-General Hamed Abud and comprises army and police officials. General Paolo Serra has been busy trying to convince militias in Tripoli, Misrata, and Zintan to ensure security for the GNA. No doubt the militia are being offered incentives to provide security, such as positions in the Libyan National Armed forces after the GNA takes power. Attawil was serving as a support commander for the army head linked to the Tripoli-based GNC. The main forces linked with the GNC are Libya Dawn. This connection will cause Haftar backers to completely reject Attawil. However, his acceptance of a role with the GNA will also cause an uproar within the GNC. Kobler's predecessor Bernardino Leon exploited divisions within Misrata militia and was able to bring some on board to support the GNA some time ago.
The GNC government has ordered the Military Prosecutor to start an investigation into the decision of the GNA Presidency Council. The GNC claimed the decision would instigate civil violence and military disobedience. The Prosecutor was also ordered to question the 18 committee members. While most commentators are urging the UN on and indicating how important the GNA is with the IS state launching attacks on oil facilities and elsewhere Libya-Analaysis suggests that: The international community’s attempts to impose a Government of National Accord on a divided and unwilling Libyan populace appear likely to backfire creating more fragmentation and state collapse — the exact petridish in which ISIS prefers to breed. ISIS attacks on oil facilities at Sidra on 4 January 2016 and on a training facility at Zliten on 7 January showcased the groups commitment to targeting key infrastructure and derailing the UN-mediated political process.The IS actions may not at all derail the UN political process. It may hasten the process. If the process is derailed it will probably be because of internal divisions within the GNA and the refusal of many in the rival governments to cooperate in setting it up.
The UN appears determined to push ahead with installing the GNA. This is another internationally sponsored regime-change program for Libya. This time around two rival governments are to be replaced by one. The hope originally was that this would be voluntary. When that did not work, the UN envoy Kobler gathered together a group in favor of the agreement and had them sign on to the new regime via the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). It was immediately supported by the UN Security Council and dozens of foreign ministers in a meeting at Rome. Neither parliament approved the LPA and none of their members who signed on to it were authorized to do so.
The GNA is supposed to be appointed and its program decided by this Saturday and presented to the HoR for a vote of confidence. This could take place as early as Monday or Tuesday. However, the HoR has tried four times already to vote on the GNA but has been unable to achieve a quorum. The Libya Herald reports: A number of advisors to Serraj have told the Libya Herald that he and the council are determined to stick to the 16 January deadline. Others, however, have said that he intends to take at least 10 more days, possibly longer. If announced, the House of Representatives is supposed to meet and vote on the GNA by 26 January.If these "deadlines" are missed then the UN will be violating the LPA conditions. The UN will not notice and just forge ahead with whatever it is planning. Do not be surprised if the LPA, which Kobler claims cannot be changed, ends up being altered. The UN refuses to put the LPA, as signed December 17 in Skhirat, on its website so we may not even be able to determine what is changed.

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