Gadaffi's cousin claims thousands from former dictators' brigades serve in Libyan National Army

Ahmed Gaddaf Al-Dam, a cousin of former Libyan dictator Muamar Gadaffi, claims that thousands of former members of Gadaffi's military brigades are now part of Khalifa Haftar's militia or the Libyan National Army (LNA).

Al-Dam made the statement to the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat. He also claimed he was holding meetings with what he called "yesterday's enemies" both inside Libya and outside it. He said he was carrying out dialogues with his "leaders and their jailers." Al-Dam said once the Tobruk-base House of Representatives (HoR) endorsed the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), he would pledge allegiance to it. However, there have been many meetings of the HoR to vote confidence in the GNA but all have either lacked a quorum or been disrupted. It is not clear when or even if the HoR will vote confidence in the GNA. Even if the vote finally takes place, it will no doubt pass only if Khalifa Haftar, the commander-in-chief of the Libyan National Army, keeps his job. As the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) is now, section 8 gives Haftar's job to the Presidential Council (PC) of the GNA.
Al-Dam said he had no relationship with Faiez Serraj, the PM and head of the PC of the GNA. He claimed: “Gaddafi loyalists can never be marginalized by anyone; they are the strongest link in the Libyan scene.”
Al-Dam added that the recent VIenna talks in which many foreign ministers pledged support for the GNA were a farce. Many figures, such as Serraj, he said were used as "decoration" by the summit. He called the EU and U.S. sanctions on the speaker and head of the HoR, Ageelah Salah, as "unacceptable, illegitimate, and ill-mannered." He claimed they are also against democratic rules and ineffective as well.
There appears to be a growing division between those who support the UN-brokered GNA, mostly in the west, and supporters of Haftar and the Tobruk-based HoR, mostly in the east. However, the head of the Petroleum Forces Guard in the east, Ibrahim Jodhran, supports the GNA and is opposed to Haftar. In the west the Zintan brigades support Haftar and are part of the Libyan National Army (LNA). They are very much opposed to the GNA. A recent tweet said: " Khalifa Hafter's top aide Abdul Raziq Nadouri: Our forces are 10km away from Tripoli, liberating it is very soon." However, reports on what is happening in Libya are often contested. Recently it was reported that Haftar ordered the GNA defense minister Mahdi Al-Barghathi to return back to Benghazi, but a recent article in the Libya Herald reports that a Haftar spokesperson says this was not correct. The presence of many Gadaffi loyalists in Haftar's militia will serve to exacerbate the growing division between supporters of the GNA and those supporting the HoR and Haftar.


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