Retired Major General Khalifa Haftar organized a military parade that raised new questions and controversy, at a time when Libya is heading to stability after choosing a presidential council, and a government of national unity seeking to extend its control over all parts of the country.
The military parade was held in Benghazi in the absence of senior state officials in the Presidential Council and the National Unity Government, in addition to the absence of the Speaker of Parliament, Agila Saleh.
Haftar invited the President and members of the Presidency Council, the Prime Minister and deputies of the government and the Speaker of Parliament to attend the military parade in the Benina area in the city of Benghazi (eastern Libya), which is controlled by his forces.
Commenting on Haftar’s review, Abdullah Al-Lafi, Vice President of the Presidency Council, said that the Council has repeatedly stressed the avoidance of any unilateral actions of a military nature from any party, including maneuvers, field movements, press statements from the military, and military parades that may lead to War begins again.
Al-Lafi stressed that any party’s unilateral behavior will give justification to other parties for similar behavior. This could lead to obstructing the political process and threatening peace and security.
And he called for an immediate cessation of everything that would prejudice this path after taking unilateral, incalculable steps, appealing to the countries sponsoring the ceasefire agreement and the UN mission in Libya to play an active and effective role to avoid any developments.
The Presidential Council, in its capacity as Supreme Commander of the Libyan Army – according to the outcomes of the Forum for Political Dialogue – did not issue any comment on the military parade.
Messing and provocation
For his part, Belkacem Debar, a member of the Supreme Council of State, considered that Haftar’s parade is “futile and put obstacles and sticks in the wheels, so that the government of national unity does not succeed, and so that the government cannot fulfill its obligations to go to elections and constitution the state.”
Debars added in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net that Haftar knows very well that political stability in Libya is driving him out of the Libyan arena, and he also realizes that the constitution of the state often means his final exit from the scene Because of his criminal record and possession of the nationality of a foreign country
He said that Haftar will be legally prosecuted for the crimes he committed sooner or later, which is his inevitable future in the next operation, explaining that the documented crime record against Haftar, his supporters and his militias makes him a temporary tool that is now used to achieve a specific goal, before he is prosecuted to be punished in the cases brought against him at the local level. And international.
As for the military expert, Adel Abdel Kafi, he considered the military parade – in light of the talk of calm and a ceasefire – an act of hostility par excellence to provoke the Libyan army forces and its support units in Tripoli.
Abdel Kafi stated in his statement to Al-Jazeera Net that the military parade has goals. Including achieving a military victory, raising morale, or a show of force, “Haftar wants to send that he has an armed force that he will use when he is ignored in the Libyan scene.”
Abdul Kafi added that Haftar wants to wipe out the shame that he and his militias have suffered, when they tried to storm the capital (Tripoli), and suffered heavy losses, and was defeated with his mercenaries.
Abdel Kafi explained that Haftar is trying to continue to subjugate the eastern region under his control in order to preserve his supporters, who are beginning to lose hope that he will lead the scene again in eastern Libya after his loss in the battle of Tripoli.
Abdul Kafi called on the Presidency Council, as the commander in chief of the army, to stop these provocative actions, and to limit and deter Haftar’s role, before these hostile actions lead to war and thwart the work of the “5 + 5” joint military committee.
In turn, the political analyst, Abdullah Al-Kabeer, believes that Haftar wants, through the show, to send messages to his opponents at home, including his overcoming defeat, rebuilding his forces and his ability to try again, and attack whenever international conditions are appropriate.
Al-Kabeer added to Al-Jazeera Net, as for the second message, Haftar sends it to his allies, whose support for him has decreased, to assure them once again of his ability to resolve the battle if he is given a new opportunity.
Al-Kabeer stated that Haftar’s third message to the international community, through which he confirms that he has an armed force on the ground and that he cannot be bypassed with or without elections.
Al-Kabeer stated that effective sanctions against Haftar will not be issued unless the major powers decide to impose sanctions on the spoilers. Because Russia will not allow it to pass, and it is unlikely that the sanctions against Haftar will bypass the travel ban and asset freeze.
Al-Kabeer emphasized that the effective paper today is the International Criminal Court to threaten Haftar with the file of human rights violations and mass graves, and it alone is sufficient to force Haftar to submit.