The Libyan Presidential Council, in its capacity as the supreme commander of the army, announced yesterday, Saturday, the prohibition of any military movements in the country except after its approval, after the forces affiliated with retired Major General Khalifa Haftar announced their control over the “Essin” border crossing between Libya and Algeria, while the Libyan Foreign Ministry expressed optimism about the conference. Berlin-2 next.
A statement issued by the Supreme Commander of the Army, published by the media center of Operation Volcano of Rage through 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 ammunition.”
An armed force affiliated with retired Major General Khalifa Haftar had taken control of the Essene border crossing between Libya and Algeria, and declared it a military zone in which movement was prohibited.
Sources told Al-Jazeera in Libya that the command of the 128th Enhanced Brigade of Haftar’s forces had published pictures of the stationing of its forces at the port, and said that they were reinforcements that reached the Algerian border area with Libya.
The pictures show the stationing of armored and four-wheel drive vehicles and dozens of cars armed with anti-aircraft guns at the crossing and in the surrounding area.
Haftar’s forces stated that their concentration came within what they described as the army’s operations in the strategic extension of the southwest of Libya.
And Haftar’s forces had previously announced – Friday – the launch of a military operation in southern Libya, to pursue what it described as “Takfiri terrorists.” A statement issued by it stated that units of the infantry battalions headed to the region to support the “Southwest Liberation Operations Room in the southern strategic direction.”
The operation aims – according to the statement – “to track down the takfiri terrorists and expel the African mercenary gangs that threaten security and stability,” and these directives come after targeting a site for Haftar’s forces with a car bomb.
On June 6, two Libyan officers were killed and a third wounded, as a result of a suicide car bombing targeting a checkpoint in the city of Sabha (southern of the country), and the Islamic State claimed the operation.
Berlin-2 . Conference
In Cairo, Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Al-Manqoush said during a joint press conference with her Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry that there is aspiration to implement the road map and make the Berlin-2 conference a success, adding that there are signs of hope for the unification of the Libyans after this conference.
For his part, Shoukry said that the Berlin-2 conference is an opportunity to emphasize the outcomes of the Libyan dialogue, and the mandate given to the current government, to work on restoring stability to the country, implementing the electoral benefits at the end of this year, and treating the security file.
The German Foreign Ministry had called for a new round of Libyan peace talks, to be hosted by Berlin next Wednesday, with the aim of discussing steps to achieve sustainable stability in Libya.
In turn, Sudanese Foreign Minister Maryam Al-Mahdi said, during a meeting with Al-Manqoush, that returning mercenaries in Libya to their country with their weapons threatens the countries of the region, and stressed the importance of considering this issue as part of regional security.
Al-Mahdi called for the need to integrate these militants after their demobilization, and to absorb them into projects in order to support stability in the region.
For her part, the Libyan Foreign Minister called for discussing the issue of mercenaries through negotiations with neighboring countries and friends of Libya.
A tripartite meeting was held in the Turkish city of Antalya – on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomatic Forum – that included Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, his Maltese counterpart Evarist Bartolo, and Libyan Minister Najla Al-Manqoush.
According to Turkish diplomatic sources, the three ministers agreed on the need for continued cooperation between the three countries to ensure security and peace in the Mediterranean, and to confront illegal immigration across the sea.