2019-04-06 Africa North||Serraj announces state of alert in response to Hafter’s LNA provocation
[Libya Herald] Faiez Serraj, head of the Presidency Council and Government of National Accord, in his role as Supreme Commander of the Tripoli|
...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
-based Libyan National Army, announced a state of alert yesterday in response to the encroaching Libyan National Army (LNA) forces and threats to enter Tripoli militarily.
Serraj, never mentions Hafter nor the LNA by name in his statement, but the message is clearly directed at them. He condemned the ’’provocative’’ and ’’escalating’’ language and statements made by Hafter and his LNA ’’to purge the western region’’ and to ’’liberate’’ Tripoli which he said did not help accord or reconciliation.
He said such language destroys Libyans’ hope for stability and, in a veiled threat, ’’underestimates’’ all other parties.
Serraj said that this escalation comes a few days before the UN-brokered National Conference (@multaqa.libya) set to be held in Ghadames from 14 to 16 April. He added that Libyans view the conference with a glimmer of hope and as an exit out of Libya’s current crisis, an opportunity to unify the country’s split institutions and as the means to elections. However,
man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them...
the LNA’s inflammatory and escalating statements will undermine all of this, Serraj added.
Serraj warned that he had in the past chosen to exercise restraint to such intended crisis-precipitating actions, but that in the face of such persistence to follow this aggressive policy that he thought had been long bypassed, he has ordered and announced a state of alert to all military and security forces to prepare to respond and deter any threats aimed at destabilizing security in any area of the country. This destabilizing threat could be terror or criminal organizations, rogue groups outside the law, mercenaries, or anyone who threatens any Libyan city.
In conclusion, Serraj repeated the oft quoted mantra that there is ’’no military solution’’ to the Libyan crisis. He added that ’’war only brings destruction to the country and suffering to the people’’, urging Hafter and the LNA to ’’stop the language of threats and menace and to take on the language of reason and wisdom’’.
It will be recalled that the Serraj state of alert announcement comes after a clear and deliberate ratcheting up by the Hafter LNA and their regional allies spanning from Sabrata to Gharian. In fact, critics and analysts would say that Hafter has been on a military campaign for months if not years. His manoeuvres in the south of Libya in February and March are seen as preparations for a military ’’liberation’’ of Tripoli ‐ an aim Hafter has never made a secret of.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was yesterday’s announcement by the LNA’s General Command issuing orders to move to the western region which the announcement said was ’’controlled by outlaw groups and militias’’. The announcement was accompanied by footage claiming to show heavily armed forces crossing the Brega area and the central Oil Crescent area and allegedly moving towards the west of the country.
The statement said that the ’’operation aims to cleanse the country, which remains with terrorist and criminal group found in its hideouts in the western region’’ It added that the Libyan armed forces are aware of the safety of citizens and public property in the country.
On the other hand, Tripoli’s and the Western Region Forces have not sat idle. On 31 March the Tripoli Protection Force (TPF), a coalition of Tripoli’s main militias aligned to the Serraj Presidency Council, had announced on 31 March the unification of the Tripoli and Western Region Forces. Video footage of its forces allegedly heading towards the south of Tripoli have also been circulating.
The Faiez Serraj Ministry of Interior (MoI) had also announced the readiness of its forces to protect the areas under its control. Today it also announced a state of alert and warned its employees not to take orders from any forces outside the authority of the Presidency Council.
|Posted by Fred 2019-04-06 00:00||
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