By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 21 May 2016:
General Khalifa Hafter, the head of the Libyan armed forces appointed by the House of . . .[restrict]Representatives, says that he will not work with the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Faiez Serraj until the militias on which it relies at present are disbanded.
“It’s unthinkable to work with these armed factions,” he said in an interview with French news channel iTélé.
He also claimed that his forces were not far from destroying those of the so-called Islamic State (IS/Daesh) based in Sirte, although it would still take a little more time.
“We have mustered our forces, which were scattered, to confront these terrorist groups trying to take control of the army, police and security apparatus. Today we are not far to eliminate these terrorist groups.”
However, it would happen lot faster, he said, if the international community supported him and lifted the arms embargo on Libya.
“If the international community supports us, and I ask it to do so by lifting the embargo on weapons, then we could eliminate Daesh in Libya definitively and quickly.”
In Vienna this week, an international conference which included all five UN Security Council veto members specifically ruled out allowing weapons to go to Hafter’s forces. They agreed to allow a partial lifting of the embargo on a case by case basis, but arms would be allowed to go only to forces under the control of the GNA.
IS, Hafter said in the short interview, was in fact not quite the threat that some see. “The Islamic state has no capacity to cope with the Libyan armed forces,” he claimed.
Referring to the GNA, it was not just a matter of the militias supporting it, he said. “We have no relationship with Serraj at the moment because the Council has not been recognised by the House of Representatives». [/restrict]