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article imageOp-Ed: GNA to move to Tripoli within days in spite of threats

By Ken Hanly     Mar 18, 2016 in World
Tripoli - According to Faiez Serraj, prime minister-designate of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), a deal has been worked out to relocate the GNA from Tunis to Tripoli within a few days.
Faiez told the Jordan-based Libya HD TV police and some armed groups in the capital agreed to a security plan. The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) was involved in the deal. Armed groups have agreed to confine themselves to their bases until there is an agreement as to how their members will be reassigned to the police or helped to return to civilian life. No mention of payment is mentioned. I expect that there was probably monetary compensation to the groups or promises they would continue to receive their salaries. Serraj was not asked for details of security arrangements. Speculation is that the forces will include some local Misratan militias and the Rada security force of Abdul Kara.
When Serraj was asked about the role of the international community, he said the GNA would accept assistance at every level, but insisted that any military support should be channeled through the GNA. Serraj said: “Direct intervention is completely unacceptable and we have sent this message very clearly to the international community.” There has already been considerable intervention including air strikes by the US and special forces from several countries already on the ground. The UN and many in the international community are anxiously awaiting for the GNA to be up and running, so they can be asked to intervene militarily and thus justify foreign military operations in Libya.
However, there are ongoing threats against the GNA attempting to establish a presence in Tripoli. The leaders of the Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room, a coalition of well-armed brigades, has warned the GNA about any attempt to establish a presence in Tripoli. The group issued a statement saying: "Our preparations for any confrontation in Tripoli have ended, we are ready to launch a protracted war against the group of so-called Fayaz Sirraj if it came to Tripoli or against any group that protects it or helps it." The group pledged full support for the GNC. They were critical of Siddiq Al-Kabir, head of the Libyan Central Bank, and accused him of being behind the financial problems in the city. The group statement said: "The governor of Central Bank of Libya, a member of Justice and Construction Party, has invented these crises as a means of political pressure to accept Skhirat agreement." The Justice and Construction Party is associated with the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood. The party supports the GNA so presumably Al-Kabir may be cooperating with the GNA officials.
GNC Prime Minister Khalifa Al-Ghwell also warned that any GNA attempt to establish itself in Tripoli would be regarded as an illegal step and any members who come could face arrest. He said he cannot transfer power to a UN-imposed government not endorsed by the GNC. Al-Ghwell said: “If they want to enter Libya as normal citizens, then they are welcome, but we hope they do not venture to enter as members of government as we would consider it a violation of laws.” Al-Ghwell supports the Libya-Libya dialogue between members of both rival parliaments, designed to be a purely Libyan solution to the crisis without foreign interference. The dialogue plan for a transition government should be announced within two weeks. Critics claim the dialogue is meant to derail the UN process.
Even the rival HoR government has objected to the UN move. The HoR has warned any of its institutions of dealing with the GNA until it receives a vote of confidence from the HoR. Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libyan envoy to the UN, complained about the EU sancftions against the HoR PM Abdullah al-Thinni and two GNC officials. Dabbashi told a TV Channel: "These sanctions may provoke many Libyans. Imposing sanctions on the spoilers is a limited decision that depends in general on the authorities which can implement it on the ground."
HoR MP Jaballah Al-Shibani lashed out at the EU decision to impose sanctions on some Libyan figures: "We are not members in the EU and we do not follow it, I refuse the EU threats against all Libyans."
He said the EU was interfering in Libyan affairs. He also accused the UK of being behind failure of HoR members to vote on the GNA: "Britain is working on a plan to divide Libya by putting obstacles and encouraging MPs not to go to Tobruk to practise democracy in the parliament." Al-Shibani then accused UNSMIL of creating chaos in Libya and dragging it into a civil war: "They are not working for the sake of Libya; they want to impose a government that meets their interests.All Libyans should be aware that that UN envoy (Martin Kobler), his staff, and the EU ambassadors are dragging Libya into complete chaos." Perhaps the UN may soon find out that it was not a good idea to support a government not approved by either of the two rival Libyan governments.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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