By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 23 February 2016:
The ubiquitous UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler was in Brussels today talking to the EU’s foreign . . .[restrict]minister Federica Mogherini.
The bland press release gave no clue as to their discussion on the impact on the political agreement of the army’s palpable Benghazi gains since the launch last Saturday of the “Blood of the Martyrs” operation to clear IS and Ansar Al-Sharia out of the city.
Kobler commented that the slowness of the political process meant that it was being overtaken by “military events”. It needed to be speeded up, he said, to stop IS from expanding.
A key issue is whether the military success gained by the army is going to make it more or less likely that the House of Representatives will finally vote for the new Government of National Accord next week. Opposition to armed forces commander-in-chief Khalifa Hafter among former boycotting HR members, is likely to have been hardened by the victories of Hafter’s troops, under his personal command.
A large Hafter banner has apparently been unfurled on the side of a Benghazi apartment block, depicting Hafter as a new military strongman. It has confirmed the fears of those who believe that the general is looking for a bigger role for himself than running the armed forces and reporting to parliament. [/restrict]