Libyan Prime Minister Abdel Hamid al-Dabaiba announced the reopening of the coastal road between east and west today, Sunday, at a time when the Libyan Presidential Council announced a ban on military movements without his approval, after the forces of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar took control of a border crossing with Algeria.
Dabaiba said – in a tweet on Twitter – “Today, Libya will turn a page of the suffering of the Libyan people, and will take a new step in building, stability and unity.”
He called on the Libyan Prime Minister to renounce division, forget the grudges, and move towards construction. He said, “Our government was born from the womb of suffering, and we promised our people to gather the scattered parts of the country.”
For his part, the spokesman for the “Sirte-Al-Jufra Operations Room”, Al-Hadi Darah, said that the “Misrata-Sirte” coastal road will be opened today, Sunday; To give Haftar a deadline to withdraw the Russian “Wagner” mercenaries.
Drah said that, in the presence of the Prime Minister, we agreed to open the Misurata-Sirte road, alleviate the suffering of the citizen, and give the second party a deadline to withdraw the mercenaries.
The US Embassy in Libya welcomed Dabaiba’s announcement, and said the opening of the coastal road is important at a time when the international community prepares to meet in Berlin.
In a statement via Facebook, the embassy called on Libyans and foreign powers alike to focus on promoting stability through actions; Such as allowing this road to remain open, and paving the way for the Libyans to take full control of their own affairs, including the elections scheduled for next December.
Meanwhile, Libyan media said that the commander of western Sirte operations in Haftar’s forces denied opening the coastal road between eastern and western Libya.
The coastal road – which connects the east and the west – is important for trade, and it has been closed since the attack of Haftar’s forces on the capital Tripoli in 2019, and negotiations to reopen it have continued for several months, within the framework of a ceasefire between the two main conflict parties in Libya.
Military movement ban
Yesterday, Saturday, the Libyan Presidential Council – in its capacity as the supreme commander of the army – announced a ban on any military movements in the country without its approval, after Haftar’s forces announced their control of the Essin border crossing between Libya and Algeria.
A statement issued by the Supreme Commander of the Army – published by the media center of Operation “Volcano of Rage” via his Twitter account – said that “it is absolutely prohibited to reposition military units, whatever the nature of their work, or to make any movements of military convoys for any purpose, or to transfer personnel, weapons or munitions”.
He added that if it is necessary to reposition or move military convoys, it can only be done in accordance with the applicable context and the approval of the Supreme Commander.
An armed force affiliated with Haftar had taken control of the “Essin” border crossing between Libya and Algeria, and declared it a military zone in which movement was prohibited.
Sources in Libya told Al-Jazeera that the leadership of the “128 Enhanced Brigade” of Haftar’s forces published pictures of the stationing of his forces at the port, and said that they were reinforcements that reached the Algerian border area with Libya.