Today, sixty days have passed since the Geneva Agreement concluded by the Joint Military Committee (5 + 5), and we still have one month left from the 90-day deadline to expel foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya, and not a single soldier or mercenary has been returned to his country. But it is proven and certain that the Turkish regime decided to extend its military presence in western Libya for another 18 months, and thus trampled on the Geneva agreement, overthrowing the promises of Stephanie Williams, the UN agency’s envoy, and the optimism of the Secretary-General of the UN organization, Antonio Guterres, and the sentiments of all states and governments that welcomed the final agreement on a ceasefire.
We have said on several occasions that the international characterization of the Libyan crisis produces no solutions, and that the issue is not political but primarily one of security, and we emphasized that all exerted efforts are a waste of time in light of the legitimization of the influence of armed gangs and the survival of the militias in the western Libyan. Through their presence, they exert absolute control over political and economic affairs, as warlords refuse to surrender their privileges achieved since 2011. Political Islam also refuses to recognize its limited support, rules by force of uncontrolled weapons, corrupt government officials, regional leaders and public money thieves who also refuse to give up their interests, using the militias as a shield and a sword. Then there is Erdogan, taking advantage of this situation to exchange interests with those militias, supporting them with his military cover and by imposing de facto authority.
And here we are now in Tripoli confronting an unprecedented state of absurdity: an open confrontation between the head of the National Oil Corporation and the governor of the Central Bank, another between the governor of the Central Bank and the delegated Minister of Interior, a third between the Minister of Interior and the President of the Presidency Council, and a fourth between the militias of Tripoli and the militias of Misrata, which are fighting over influence over the capital, and a fifth between the militia and the oil corporation, and so forth.
And the overwhelming desire of Al-Sarraj to remain in his position under the auspices of Qatar and Turkey, and a battle led by Erdogan’s allies against the Minister of Interior, Fathi Bashagha, so that he does not obtain the position of prime minister to which he aspires through his visits to Paris and Cairo, and another to strike Ahmed Maitiq and prevent him from advancing on the political ladder.
And finally, to thwart the forum for political dialogue negotiations that compromise the interests of the Brotherhood and the Turks behind them.
What happened a few days ago, when Sarraj pulled the rug from under Bashaga’s feet, by transferring the subordination of the Special Deterrence Force led by the hardline Salafist Abdel Raouf Kara to his office and granting it enabling independent financial custody, and full powers of the Ministry of the Interior, as well as employing terrorist elements in sensitive centers, such as giving an ISIS terrorist who was fighting against the army in Benghazi the responsibility of exchanging prisoners and dead bodies within the framework of the outputs of the Geneva Accord. All this reveals the scheme in the minds of the Turks, the Brotherhood and the warlords.
The plan is to use the time, close the solution outlets, and wait for the opportunity to push towards a new war, through which Erdogan wants to extend his influence over the oil sources in the center and south, and finally empower the Brotherhood from the joints of the state, even if the people reject them, taking advantage of the Tunisian model and the advice of their counterparts in the Ennahda movement. The minority can then rule by dispersing the ranks of the majority and controlling centers of financial and administrative influence, depending on an electoral law and a constitution that are based on analogies.
The return of one of the most prominent warlords, Haitham al-Tajouri, last week in a private plane to Tripoli, after long months of absence as he managed his vast fortunes, after the torrent of accusations he was subjected to, and his return to the bosom of the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade militia, confirms beyond any doubt that there are agreements within the militia framework to block the way to any political settlement, and there are preparations for battle not only in the Sirte Al-Jufra line, but also in the south, and that the aim is to push the army to the east, implementing a Turkish-Qatari plan, in which other international parties participate, Its aim is to exclude Field Marshal Haftar from the public scene, and its architects do not mind the division after controlling the sources of wealth.
During the past months, it became clear that the only party that was serious about searching for a solution was the regular military representative in the (5 + 5) committee, which includes officers who were comrades in arms before 2011, and who are distinguished by discipline, professionalism, seriousness and high patriotism, and they confirmed this in meetings in Geneva, Ghadames, and Sirte. As for the politicians, most of them are linked to factional, political and ideological interests, external agendas, and financial calculations and chair privileges in a wealthy country. Some of the actors were evident at the Tunis meeting when they employed bribes to buy votes.
The ten-year-old conflict made Libya one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and if stable countries fight the corrupt, then politics in failed and weak states protects them, especially if foreign parties enter to tamper with it, as is the case with Turkey now. The situation continues because the weakness and failure of the state must be preserved, as long as the oil flows through the pipelines and the money is pumped every day to its account, and it is therefore necessary to prevent institutions from rising to restore their role, and to continue relying on militias, to prevent national reconciliation, thus preventing the healing of the social fabric, preventing the reunification of the country.
While the UN mission in Libya claims that elections will take place on December 24, 2021, this will not be achieved under the bayonets of the Turkish occupier, nor under the rule of militias, and within days Stephanie will go and be replaced by the new envoy, Nikolai Mladenov, to try again, as did seven predecessors. The slogan of the Brotherhood, the Turks and the warlords is: Everything or nothing, and Al-Sarraj will remain in his position, and nothing will change except for the outbreak of a new war that will reveal once again the inability of the international community to understand the truth that seems more than evident, which is that there is no political solution except by dissolving the militias, gathering weapons and removing foreign forces and mercenaries from the country. This is an international decision that cannot be delayed, and it is not something that falls under the heading of ‘wishes’.
Translation by Internationalist 360°