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LIBYA: THE NEW MAP WITH QADDAFI


LIBYA: THE NEW MAP WITH QADDAFI

Strategika51

In Libya, the money does not bring happiness and for some it’s hard to raise a new army. The son of Colonel Gaddafi is facing some difficulties to create the nucleus of a new armed force with which he intends to return to Tripoli.

However, Seif Al-Islam Gaddafi has strong advantages not least the support of the powerful tribal confederation Warfalla whose stronghold was never busy and always wears the green flag of the Libyan Djamahirya dismantled by NATO in 2011. alongside Warfallah Seif has the discreet but decisive support of certain factions of Zentene, a powerful military force of Tripolitania who held since 2011 and the Touareg and Toubbou Fezzan.

Seif Al-Islam Gaddafi has managed for now to raise funds and to reconnect with his old contacts in Ukraine for the supply of weapons in a country formally embargoed arms (not all since Marshal Haftar seems to have some facilities). He already has a relatively well-armed militia. One among thousands who swarm in Libya in the shadow of two rival governments manipulated by foreign powers. The challenge facing Seif al-Islam is to transform the militia into a powerful enough military force to impose and federate other power poles or face them. One thinks here of the Free Republic of Misrata, a bitter opponent of former loyalists or the Islamists who hold the capital Tripoli and its surroundings. Relations with powerful units Hafter Army still to be defined and still be a huge challenge for the future of Libya.

Another problem is the support of foreign powers in Gaddafi son project is far from over even if the latter eyeing towards Moscow and Beijing. Exit therefore France, South Korea, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Britain, Qatar and Turkey, all countries contributed to the destruction and the spread of chaos in Libya.

“These countries don’t have a milime (Penny) of dinar in the vast programme of contracts to rebuild the country once peace restored” swear those close to Seif.

It is therefore quite normal that the return of Gaddafi on the Libyan scene worried to no end the countries that supported the war in that country.

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U.K. Parliament report details how NATO’s 2011 war in Libya was based on lies


U.K. Parliament report details how NATO’s 2011 war in Libya was based on lies

By chance, I came across this article, which was published on Salon.com over a year ago! A German friend and journalist sent it to me and if even this report has escaped me, then I suppose that apart from the Salon readers something hardly anyone has heard of it.

British investigation: Gaddafi was not going to massacre civilians; Western bombing made Islamist extremism worse

A new report by the British Parliament shows that the 2011 NATO war in Libya was based on an array of lies.
“Libya: Examination of intervention and collapse and the UK’s future policy options,” an investigation by the House of Commons’ bipartisan Foreign Affairs Committee, strongly condemns the U.K.’s role in the war, which toppled the government of Libya’s leader Muammar Qaddafi and plunged the North African country into chaos.

“We have seen no evidence that the UK Government carried out a proper analysis of the nature of the rebellion in Libya,” the report states. “UK strategy was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence.”

The Foreign Affairs Committee concludes that the British government “failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element.”
The Libya inquiry, which was launched in July 2015, is based on more than a year of research and interviews with politicians, academics, journalists and more. The report, which was released on Sept. 14, reveals the following:

  • Qaddafi was not planning to massacre civilians. This myth was exaggerated by rebels and Western governments, which based their intervention on little intelligence.
  • The threat of Islamist extremists, which had a large influence in the uprising, was ignored — and the NATO bombing made this threat even worse, giving ISIS a base in North Africa.
  • France, which initiated the military intervention, was motivated by economic and political interests, not humanitarian ones.
  • The uprising — which was violent, not peaceful — would likely not have been successful were it not for foreign military intervention and aid. Foreign media outlets, particularly Qatar’s Al Jazeera and Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya, also spread unsubstantiated rumors about Qaddafi and the Libyan government.
  • The NATO bombing plunged Libya into a humanitarian disaster, killing thousands of people and displacing hundreds of thousands more, transforming Libya from the African country with the highest standard of living into a war-torn failed state.

Myth that Qaddafi would massacre civilians and the lack of intel

“Despite his rhetoric, the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence,” the Foreign Affairs Committee states clearly.
“While Muammar Gaddafi certainly threatened violence against those who took up arms against his rule, this did not necessarily translate into a threat to everyone in Benghazi,” the report continues. “In short, the scale of the threat to civilians was presented with unjustified certainty.”

The summary of the report also notes that the war “was not informed by accurate intelligence.” It adds, “US intelligence officials reportedly described the intervention as ‘an intelligence-light decision.'”
This flies in the face of what political figures claimed in the lead-up to the NATO bombing. After violent protests erupted in Libya in February, and Benghazi — Libya’s second-largest city — was taken over by rebels, exiled opposition figures like Soliman Bouchuiguir, president of the Europe-based Libyan League for Human Rights, claimed that, if Qaddafi retook the city, “There will be a real bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda.”
The British Parliament’s report, however, notes that the Libyan government had retaken towns from rebels in early February 2011, before NATO launched its air strike campaign, and Qaddafi’s forces had not attacked civilians.
On March 17, 2011, the report points outtwo days before NATO began bombing — Qaddafi told rebels in Benghazi, “Throw away your weapons, exactly like your brothers in Ajdabiya and other places did. They laid down their arms and they are safe. We never pursued them at all.”

The Foreign Affairs Committee adds that, when Libyan government forces retook the town of Ajdabiya in February, they did not attack civilians. Qaddafi “also attempted to appease protesters in Benghazi with an offer of development aid before finally deploying troops,” the report adds.
In another example, the report indicates that, after fighting in February and March in the city Misrata — Libya’s third-largest city, which had also been seized by rebels — just around 1 percent of people killed by the Libyan government were women or children.

“The disparity between male and female casualties suggested that Gaddafi regime forces targeted male combatants in a civil war and did not indiscriminately attack civilians,” the committee says.

Senior British officials admitted in the Parliament investigation they did not consider Qaddafi’s actual actions, and instead called for military intervention in Libya based on his rhetoric.
In February, Qaddafi gave a heated speech threatening the rebels who had taken over cities. He said “they are a tiny few” and “a terrorist few,” and called them “rats” who “are turning Libya into the emirates of Zawahiri and bin Laden,” referencing the leaders of al-Qaeda.
At the end of his speech, Qaddafi promised “to cleanse Libya, inch by inch, house by house, home by home, alley by alley,” of these rebels. Many Western media outlets, however, implied or reported outright that his remark was meant as a threat to all protesters. An Israeli journalist popularized this line by turning it into a song called “Zenga, Zenga” (Arabic for “alleyway”). The YouTube video featuring the remixed speech was circulated throughout the world.

The Foreign Affairs Committee notes in its report that, at that moment, British officials had a “lack of reliable intelligence.” William Hague, who served as the British secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs during the war in Libya, claimed to the committee that Qaddafi had promised “to go house to house, room to room, exacting their revenge on the people of Benghazi,” misquoting Qaddafi’s speech. He added, “A lot of people were going to die.”

Given the lack of reliable intelligence, both Lord Hague and Dr Fox highlighted the impact of Muammar Gaddafi’s rhetoric on their decision-making,” the report notes, also referencing then-Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox.

George Joffé, a scholar at King’s College London University and an expert on the Middle East and North Africa, told the Foreign Affairs Committee for its investigation that, while Qaddafi sometimes used intimidating rhetoric that “was quite blood-curdling,” past examples showed that the longtime Libyan leader was “very careful” to avoid civilian casualties.
In one instance, Joffé noted, “rather than trying to remove threats to the regime in the east, in Cyrenaica, Gaddafi spent six months trying to pacify the tribes that were located there.”
Qaddafi “would have been very careful in the actual response,” Joffé said in the report. “The fear of the massacre of civilians was vastly overstated.”
Alison Pargeter, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and specialist on Libya who was also interviewed for the investigation, agreed with Joffé. She told the committee that there was no “real evidence at that time that Gaddafi was preparing to launch a massacre against his own civilians.”

“Émigrés opposed to Muammar Gaddafi exploited unrest in Libya by overstating the threat to civilians and encouraging Western powers to intervene,” the report notes, summarizing Joffé’s analysis.

Pargeter added that Libyans who opposed the government exaggerated Qaddafi’s use of “mercenaries” — a term they often used as a synonym for Libyans of Sub-Saharan descent. Pargeter said that Libyans had told her, “The Africans are coming. They’re going to massacre us. Gaddafi’s sending Africans into the streets. They’re killing our families.”

“I think that that was very much amplified,” Pargeter said. This amplified myth led to extreme violence. Black Libyans were violently oppressed by Libyan rebels. The Associated Press reported in September 2011, “Rebel forces and armed civilians are rounding up thousands of black Libyans and migrants from sub-Sahara Africa.” It noted, “Virtually all of the detainees say they are innocent migrant workers.”

(The crimes rebels committed against black Libyans would go on to become even worse. In 2012, there were reports that black Libyans were put in cages by rebels, and forced to eat flags. As Salon has previously reported, Human Rights Watch also warned in 2013 of “serious and ongoing human rights violations against inhabitants of the town of Tawergha, who are widely viewed as having supported Muammar Gaddafi.” Tawergha’s inhabitants were mostly descendants of black slaves and were very poor. Human Rights Watch reported that Libyan rebels carried out “forced displacement of roughly 40,000 people, arbitrary detentions, torture, and killings are widespread, systematic, and sufficiently organized to be crimes against humanity.”)

In July 2011, State Department spokesman Mark Toner acknowledged that Qaddafi is “someone who’s given to overblown rhetoric,” but, in February, Western governments weaponized this speech.
The Foreign Affairs Committee notes in its report that, despite its lack of intelligence, “the UK Government focused exclusively on military intervention” as a solution in Libya, ignoring available forms of political engagement and diplomacy.
This is consistent with reporting by The Washington Times, which found that Qaddafi’s son Saif had hoped to negotiate a ceasefire with the U.S. government. Saif Qaddafi quietly opened up communications with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton intervened and asked the Pentagon to stop talking to the Libyan government. “Secretary Clinton does not want to negotiate at all,” a U.S. intelligence official told Saif.
In March, Secretary Clinton had called Muammar Qaddafi a “creature” “who has no conscience and will threaten anyone in his way.” Clinton, who played a leading role in pushing for the NATO bombing of Libya, claimed Qaddafi would do “terrible things” if he was not stopped.
From March to October 2011, NATO carried out a bombing campaign against Libyan government forces. It claimed to be pursuing a humanitarian mission to protect civilians. In October, Qaddafi was brutally killed — sodomized with a bayonet by rebels. (Upon hearing the news of his death, Secretary Clinton announced, live on TV, “We came, we saw, he died!”)
The Foreign Affairs Committee report points out, nonetheless, that, while the NATO intervention was sold as a humanitarian mission, its ostensible goal was accomplished in just one day.

On March 20, 2011, Qaddafi’s forces retreated approximately 40 miles outside of Benghazi, after French planes attacked. “If the primary object of the coalition intervention was the urgent need to protect civilians in Benghazi, then this objective was achieved in less than 24 hours,” the report says. Yet the military intervention carried on for several more months.
The report explains “the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change.” This view has been challenged, however, by Micah Zenko, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Zenko used NATO’s own materials to show that “the Libyan intervention was about regime change from the very start.”
In its investigation, the Foreign Affairs Committee cites a June 2011 Amnesty International report, which noted that “much Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events, portraying the protest movement as entirely peaceful and repeatedly suggesting that the regime’s security forces were unaccountably massacring unarmed demonstrators who presented no security challenge.”
Amnesty International also said it was unable to find evidence for the accusation that the Libyan government had given Viagra to its troops and encouraged them to rape women in rebel-held areas. Then-Secretary of State Clinton, among others, had contributed to this unproven myth.

Islamist extremism and the spread of Libyan weapons

Today, Libya is home to the largest base of the genocidal extremist group ISIS outside of Iraq and Syria. Other Islamist groups seized large swaths of territory after the Libyan government was destroyed.

“It is now clear that militant Islamist militias played a critical role in the rebellion from February 2011 onwards,” the Foreign Affairs Committee states clearly.
“Intelligence on the extent to which extremist militant Islamist elements were involved in the anti-Gaddafi rebellion was inadequate,” the report adds. It cites former British Chief of the Defence Staff David Richards, who “confirmed that intelligence on the composition of the rebel militias was not ‘as good as one would wish.'”

The inquiry asked Richards if he knew if members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group were participating in the rebellion in March 2011. He said that “was a grey area.” Richards recalled that “respectable Libyans were assuring the Foreign Office” that Islamist extremists would not benefit from the uprising, but admitted, “with the benefit of hindsight, that was wishful thinking at best.”

“The possibility that militant extremist groups would attempt to benefit from the rebellion should not have been the preserve of hindsight,” the committee comments. “Libyan connections with transnational militant extremist groups were known before 2011, because many Libyans had participated in the Iraq insurgency and in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda.”

NATO’s destruction of the Libyan government also caused some of its massive weapons and ammunition reserves to fall “into the hands of the militias” and to be “trafficked across North and West Africa and the Middle East,” the Foreign Affairs Committee notes.
“The international community’s inability to secure weapons abandoned by the Gaddafi regime fuelled instability in Libya and enabled and increased terrorism across North and West Africa and the Middle East,” the report states.

It cites a study by a U.N. panel of experts, which found the former Libyan government’s weapons in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Gaza, Mali, Niger, Tunisia and Syria. The U.N. panel noted that “arms originating from Libya have significantly reinforced the military capacity of terrorist groups operating in Algeria, Egypt, Mali and Tunisia.”
A former British Parliament study cited by the report also found that Libyan weapons ended up in the hands of Boko Haram, the ISIS-affiliated extremist group that has carried out massacres of civilians in Nigeria.
Former Chief of the Defence Staff Richards told the inquiry that the U.K. had hoped to prevent the Libyan government’s weapons and ammunition from being seized, but he could not remember the British government “doing anything to achieve it.”

France’s economic and political motivations

The Foreign Affairs Committee confirms that “France led the international community in advancing the case for military intervention in Libya in February and March 2011.” The U.K. joined next, followed by the U.S.
The report also notes that the primary reasons France pushed for military intervention in Libya were Qaddafi’s “nearly bottomless financial resources,” the Libyan leader’s plans to create an alternative currency to the French franc in Africa, “Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa” and the desire to “Increase French influence in North Africa.”
Initially, the U.S. was undecided about military intervention in Libya, the report notes. “There were divisions in the American Government,” the investigation found. This is consistent with what President Obama has since said (he called the Libya war his “worst mistake”), and what The New York Times found in its own detailed investigation.

France and the U.K. were first to pressure the international community to impose a no-fly zone in Libya, ostensibly to protect civilians, the report says. Once it was on board, nonetheless, the U.S. pushed for more aggressive military intervention.

“The United States was instrumental in extending the terms of [U.N. Security Council] Resolution 1973 beyond the imposition of a no-fly zone to include the authorisation of ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians,” the report notes. “In practice, this led to the imposition of a ‘no-drive zone’ and the assumed authority to attack the entire Libyan Government command and communications network.”

Explaining France’s motivations, the report cites an April 2011 email to the U.S.’s then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which noted that “Qaddafi has nearly bottomless financial resources to continue indefinitely.”

“Qaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver,” Clinton’s assistant Sidney Blumenthal wrote, citing “sources with access to advisors to Saif al-Islam Qaddafi,” Muammar Qaddafi’s son.

This gold “was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar,” Blumenthal said, citing “knowledgeable individuals.” He added, “This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc.”

“French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya,” Blumenthal wrote, referencing France’s then-President Nicolas Sarkozy, of the right-wing Union for a Popular Movement party.

The French intelligence officers articulated five factors that motivated Sarkozy:

“a. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
b. Increase French influence in North Africa,
c. Improve his internal political situation in France,
d. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
e. Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.”

Crucial role of foreign intervention

The U.K. Parliament report notes that the NATO bombing “shifted the military balance in the Libyan civil war in favour of the rebels.”

“The combination of coalition airpower with the [foreign] supply of arms, intelligence and personnel to the rebels guaranteed the military defeat of the Gaddafi regime,” the Foreign Affairs Committee adds.

Resolution 1973, the March 2011 U.N. Security Council resolution that imposed a no-fly zone in Libya, was supposed to ensure a “strict implementation of the arms embargo,” the report further points out. But “the international community turned a blind eye to the supply of weapons to the rebels.”
Rebel ground forces inside Libya were “enhanced by personnel and intelligence provided by” the U.K., France, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the investigation reveals.
Then-British Chief of the Defence Staff David Richards also told the inquiry that the U.K. “had a few people embedded” with the rebel forces on the ground.
Richards emphasized “the degree to which the Emiratis and the Qataris … played a major role in the success of the ground operation.”

Citing The Guardian, the report notes that Qatar secretly gave French-manufactured antitank missiles to certain rebel groups. The investigation also says Qatar, a theocratic monarchy, “channelled its weapons to favoured militias rather than to the rebels as a whole.”
Moreover, Alison Pargeter, the Libya specialist, told the committee, “I also think the Arab media played a very important role here.”
She singled out Al Jazeera, a Qatari news outlet, and Al Arabiya, a Saudi outlet, for spreading unsubstantiated stories about Qaddafi and the Libyan government. These news outlets “were really hamming everything up, and it turned out not to be true,” she said.  —–(how about BBC, CNN, FOX they also did their part)

Humanitarian disaster and echoes of the Iraq War

The Foreign Affairs Committee report blames the U.K., U.S. and France for failing to articulate “a strategy to support and shape post-Gaddafi Libya.”
The result of this, the report notes in the summary, “was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of ISIL in North Africa.”
The committee cites Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2016, which indicated:

“[Libya is] heading towards a humanitarian crisis, with almost 400,000 people internally displaced and increasing disruption to basic services, such as power and fuel supplies. Forces engaged in the conflict continued with impunity to arbitrarily detain, torture, unlawfully kill, indiscriminately attack, abduct and disappear, and forcefully displace people from their homes. The domestic criminal justice system collapsed in most parts of the country, exacerbating the human rights crisis.”

Before the 2011 NATO bombing, on the other hand, Libya had been the wealthiest nation in Africa, with the highest life expectancy and GDP per capita. In his book “Perilous Interventions,” former Indian representative to the U.N. Hardeep Singh Puri notes that, before the war, Libya had less of its population in poverty than the Netherlands. Libyans had access to free health care, education, electricity and interest-free loans, and women had great freedoms that had been applauded by the U.N. Human Rights Council in January 2011, on the eve of the war that destroyed the government.
Today, Libya remains so dangerous that the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee was in fact unable to travel to the country during its investigation. It notes in the report that a delegation visited North Africa in March 2016. They met with Libyan politicians in Tunis, but “were unable to visit Tripoli, Benghazi, Tobruk or anywhere else in Libya due to the collapse of internal security and the rule of law.”
The U.K. Parliament’s Libya report comes just two months after the Chilcot Report, the British government’s Iraq War inquiry, which also admits that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was based on numerous lies, and likewise reveals that the war only strengthened al-Qaeda and other extremists.
Citing the Iraq War inquiry, the Libya report draws comparisons between the actions of former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s administration and that of David Cameron. In 2010, Cameron created the National Security Council, ostensibly to provide a form of oversight that was lacking before the 2003 Iraq invasion.

The Libya report, however, calls on the British government to commission an independent review of the National Security Council. This review “should be informed by the conclusions of the Iraq Inquiry and examine whether the weaknesses in governmental decision-making in relation to the Iraq intervention in 2003 have been addressed by the introduction of the NSC,” the report says.
In the lone moment of humor in the otherwise macabre report, the Foreign Affairs Committee summarizes the humanitarian situation in Libya today writing, “In April 2016, United States President Barack Obama described post-intervention Libya as a ‘shit show’. It is difficult to disagree with this pithy assessment.”

MEET THE KEY PLAYERS FIGHTING IN LIBYA


MEET THE KEY PLAYERS FIGHTING IN LIBYA

Since Qaddafi’s downfall, Libya has been overtaken by a chaotic mix of rival governments, armed groups and jihadi militants. ISIS has established bases in Libya, while an Al-Qaeda affiliated group is also active.

The Government of General National Congress (GNC)

Who?

On the 8th of August 2012 the NTC has officially handed over power to the General National Conference. In June 2014 the House of Representatives was democratically elected but the GNC did not accept this defeat. Thus they brought in the Misurata militias to burn the international airport of Tripoli and cause the biggest environmental disaster in Libya. All militias are financed by GNC and GNA otherwise they would have been overthrown.

 Where?

The GNC is based in Tripoli where they took power in August 2014, the GNC represents the Muslim Brotherhood and all other fanatic sects. Holds the capital of Tripoli under captivity till today together with the GNC.

Aligned with?

The GNC has a broad base of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, England, France and the USA support. All these countries support the Muslim-brotherhood as moderate muslims.

The Government of National Accord (GNA)

Who?

Established in early 2016 after a U.N.-backed negotiation process, the GNA represents the international community’s hope for a return to peace and stability in Libya. It is led by the Presidential Council, headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, a trained architect with little political experience prior to his appointment.

Where?

The GNA is based in Tripoli, the country’s capital located in western Libya. Which is under captivity of  the two governments  the GNC and the GNA..

Aligned with?

The GNA has a broad base of international support. The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Peter Bodde, visited Serraj in Tripoli on Tuesday—the first visit by an U.S. ambassador since 2014, where Safira Deborah run out off  Tripoli even-though she praised the Islamists and  five years after Islamist militants killed four U.S. officials, including the then-ambassador Christopher Stevens—where he pledged support the NTC, promising to assist with expanding its “counter-terrorism capacity” and train Libya’s armed forces. Various militias who are financed are also supportive of the 2 governments in Tripoli.

Fayez al-Serraj

Prime Minister of Libya’s Government of UN backed Gov, Fayez al-Serraj, attends a news conference with the U.S. ambassador to Libya Peter Bodde and Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa, in Tripoli, Libya. Serraj represents the international community’s hope for restoring stability to Libya. HANI AMARA/REUTERS

The Libyan National Army

Who?

The Libyan National Army (LNA) constitutes the remnants of the country’s military, defeated under Qaddafi in the 2011 revolution and disbanded. It is led by Khalifa Haftar, who has pledged to fight terrorism in Libya but has rejected the authority of the GNA and the GNC. Haftar served alongside Qaddafi in the Libyan military, but later plotted to overthrow Qaddafi and fled Libya to the United States in the mid 1980s. He thought he had a senior role in forces that overthrew Qaddafi in 2011 till he had General Abdel Fatah Younes assassinated .

Where?

Haftar and his forces are based in the eastern city of Tobruk and control much of eastern Libya, including valuable oil fields and pipelines. The LNA has also been battling for control of Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, since 2014 against the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC), a group of Islamist militias and jihadi groups including Ansar al-Sharia, the main militant group in the country.

Aligned with?

While Haftar has refused to endorse theGNC and GNA, he met with Serraj recently in the United Arab Emirates for talks; Haftar released a statement calling for changes to the U.N.-backed deal that formed the GNA. Haftar has also courted international support from Russia.

Khalifa Haftar

General Khalifa Haftar during a press conference in Amman, Jordan, August 24, 2015. Haftar commands armed forces in the east of the country and has so far refused to recognize the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli. KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The Self-proclaimed Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Libya

Who?

Since late 2014, ISIS has gradually built up its fighters and presence in Libya. Some former pro-Qaddafi strongholds turned to the jihadi group after their leader’s downfall, while the group has also been boosted by a flow of foreign fighters, many from other Arab states. The group’s leader, Iraqi national Abu Nabil, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in late 2015; it is unclear whether a new leader has been appointed, although an ISIS publication carried an interview with Abdul Qadr al-Najdi in March 2016, identifying him as the “emir tasked with administering the Libyan provinces.”

Where?

From 2012 till 2015 the jihadi group main base was Derna on the East side of Libya till it was destroyed what was left moved their base to Sirte until late 2016, a coastal city in central Libya that was Qaddafi’s hometown and was captured by ISIS in June 2015. But after six months of fighting, pro-government forces liberated the city from the militants in December 2016. ISIS has carried out attacks in all Libya’s major cities, including Tripoli, and previously controlled the cities of Sabratha in the west but has since lost control of all three.

Aligned with?

The group is aligned with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the purported caliph of ISIS who is thought to be based between Iraq and Syria. ISIS in Libya has on occasion cooperated with Ansar al-Sharia, but the latter group has not given its allegiance to Baghdadi and has suffered defections to the former.

Misrata Libya ISIS

Libyan security forces and citizens inspect the damage after a car bomb attack on a security post in the Saddada area near the eastern Libyan city of Misrata, on April 13, 2016. The city was retaken from ISIS in December 2016 by pro-government militias. STRINGER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Ansar al-Sharia

Who?

Formed in 2012 after a merger of several Islamist militias, Ansar al-Sharia (ASL)—whose name means “Partisans of Islamic Law”—are an extremists militant group calling for the imposition of Islamic law across Libya. The group was headed up by Mohammad al-Zahawi, a Libyan imprisoned under Qaddafi; but the group said in January 2015 that Zahawi had been killed, and it is unclear whether a replacement has been appointed. U.S. officials also blamed ASL for the Benghazi consulate attack, although the group denied responsibility.

Where?

ASL is based in Benghazi, where it has been fighting against General Haftar’s forces for several years as part of the Shura Council.

Aligned with?

In 2014, the U.N. added Ansar al-Sharia’s brigades in Benghazi and Derna to its sanctions list of groups and individuals associated with Al-Qaeda, the global jihadi franchise. The U.N. said that ASL ran training camps for fighters traveling to Syria, Iraq and Mali. The group itself has denied links to Al-Qaeda and has in recent years focused its energies on charitable and da’wah—spreading the faith of Islam—in a bid to shake off its image as a militant group.

Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC)

An umbrella group of Islamist militias and jihadis, including ASL, the BRSC is based in Benghazi and battling against Haftar’s forces for control of the city. In this respect, it is fighting alongside ISIS, and the group has experienced tensions because of the association with the militant group, according to the European Council on Foreign Affairs.

Various militias and brigades

Libya is home to a vast collection of local and tribal militias, some of which support the U.N.-backed government, others which are concerned with local interests. Prominent among these are the Misrata brigades, which played a key role in liberating Sirte from ISIS; the Zintan brigades, who  captured Qaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam in 2011; and the Third Force, a GNA-backed militia accused of perpetrating an attack on an airbase in southern Libya earlier in May that killed 141 people, mostly soldiers loyal to Haftar.

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The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya calls for the formation of an international commission of inquiry on the assassination of Gaddafi


The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya calls for the formation of an international commission of inquiry on the assassination of Gaddafi

 

Iwan Libya – Agencies:

The National Human Rights Commission in Libya called on the United Nations Secretariat and the International Criminal Court to form an international commission of inquiry into the assassination of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

On Wednesday, the Human Rights Committee issued a statement revealing the role of Qatar and France, and their involvement in the “liquidation” of Gaddafi, until his voice is completely absent and does not disclose any matters related to sensitive international issues.

The organization confirmed that it had information indicating the involvement of the State of Qatar through the former Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani in the killing of Muammar Gaddafi after personally ordering the commander of his own forces to eliminate him as a result of the dangerous information he had in possession of the rulers of Qatar and their role of sabotage and support for terrorist and extremist organizations in Niger Chad, Afghanistan and Somalia, and their attempts to stir up chaos and support opposition forces in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Syria and Yemen.

The organization added that the information and reports that Colonel Gaddafi was killed by the French intelligence agent, on the direct orders of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in order to hide information and secrets in possession of, including financial support of former French President Sarkozy in the presidential elections as well as the investment and economic conflict In Africa.

The National Committee for Human Rights in Libya expressed its strong dissatisfaction and condemnation at the continued silence and suspiciousness of the International Criminal Court over the murder of the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and his son Mu’tasim Bellah after being captured alive on October 20, 2011. The city of Sirte, considering that the murder of Gaddafi and his son Mu’tasim al-Bilu after their families are alive, their bodies are brutally abused and their burial in an unknown place is a full-fledged war crime and a violation of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions.

The International Criminal Court  (ICC) is to assume its international legal responsibilities by calling for a thorough investigation into the killing of Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi and his son, Mu’tasim Bellah, and identifying the local, regional and international parties involved.

 

 

 

QATAR’S SUPPORT OF THE WORST OF THE WORST IN LIBYA MUST END


QATAR’S SUPPORT OF THE WORST OF THE WORST IN LIBYA MUST END

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Libyans wave their new national flag (L) and Qatar’s flag during a ceremony announcing the liberation for the country in the eastern city of Benghazi on October 23, 2011 three days after ousted despot Moamer Kadhafi was captured and killed. Photo: Abdullah Doma/AFP/Getty

 

Libya’s eastern-based government joined Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt in cutting ties with Qatar in June, with Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Deri asserting that Doha was “harboring terrorism.” The move reflected longstanding grievances expressed by Libya’s non-Islamist forces about Qatar’s sponsorship of extremists in the war-torn country. And while the meddling in Libya doesn’t get a lot of coverage, it remains one of the key grievances of Qatar’s foes in the current diplomatic crisis.

Since the 2011 revolution, Libya has been the site of a rather nasty proxy war. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other traditional Gulf states have backed the eastern-based government and Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA). Seeking a more Islamist order in Libya, Qatar and Turkey backed the Muslim Brotherhood, and more recently, the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC).

According to press reports, Qatar has been sending massive amounts of weapons and cash to Islamist militants battling the Western-backed government in Libya. A March 2013 U.N. report noted that in 2011 and 2012, Qatar violated the U.N. arms embargo by “providing military material to the revolutionary forces through the organization of a large number of flights and the deliveries of a range of arms and ammunition.”

And according to another report in the Egyptian al-Masry al-Youm, Doha has provided more than 750 million euros ($890 million) to extremist groups in Libya since 2011. Arab officials believe that this assistance arrives in Western Libya by way of a commercial airline that is bankrolled by Qatar.

But the Arab states are not simply bothered by Qatar’s support for garden variety Islamists. They allege that Qatar is directly backing the worst of the worst. And they appear to be correct.

According to Kristian Coates Ulrichsen of the Baker Institute for Public Policy, “Qatar developed close links with key Islamist militia commanders [in Libya] such as Abdelhakim Belhadj, once the head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and, in 2011, the commander of the Tripoli Brigade.” The LIFG is an al-Qaeda affiliate group that was sanctioned by both the United States and the United Nations.

Belhadj twice met with Osama bin Laden, and he was detained by the CIA in 2004. He launched Hizb al-Watan in 2012, which Arab officials say has maintained close ties to LIFG and received continued support from Qatar.

Ulrichsen also notes the connection between Qatar and “Ismael al-Salabi, the leader of one of the best-supplied rebel militias, the Rafallah al-Sahati Companies. Qatar was widely suspected of arming and funding al-Salabi’s group, whose sudden munificence of resources in 2011 earned it the nickname of the ‘Ferrari 17 Brigade.’”

Ismael al-Salabi’s brother, Ali al-Salabi, is a prominent Libyan cleric close to the emir of Qatar. One Egyptian source claims that he maintains close ties to the LIFG. This is a claim echoed by Arab officials familiar with the situation in Libya.

On June 8, the LNA held a press conference alleging proof of Qatar’s malign role in Libya. The LNA charged that Qatari intelligence General Salim Ali al-Jarboui supported al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Muslim Brotherhood by transferring $8 billion from the Qatari Tunisian National Bank to the Housing Bank of Tataouine Governorate in southern Tunisia.

According to the LNA, Qatar supported the assassination of senior officials, facilitated training of Islamist extremists by Hamas, and helped transport Libyan Islamists to Syria. The LNA also presented a letter purportedly penned by Mohammed Hamad Al Hajri, acting charge d’affaires at the Qatar Embassy in Libya, alleging that Qatar had deployed military units to the country.

In June, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt first issued theirterrorist list” of 59 individuals and 12 entities linked to Qatar, it included one entity (the Benghazi Defense Brigades) and five individuals from Libya. The LNA then released a second list of 75 Libyan individuals and nine organizations tied to Qatar. A third list, issued by the Arab states in late July, include two individuals and six organizations reportedly based in Libya. One highlight of the first list includes Al-Sadiq Abd al-Rahman Ali al-Ghiryani, who previously served the Grand Mufti of Libya, who has called for the destruction of the eastern government.

The allegations of Qatari malign behavior in Libya continue. The Libyan army spokesman just last week described Qatar, Sudan, and Turkey as “the triad of terrorism” in Libya. He also stated that, “a number of Qatari aircraft are regularly landing in Libya in 2017 to support terrorist groups.”

The Libyan war is not likely to be solved anytime soon. Nor is the Gulf crisis with Qatar, for that matter. But putting a stop to Qatar’s meddling in Libya might make it easier to solve both.

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