By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 11 May 2017:
Government of National Accord (GNA) foreign minister Mohamed Siala’s reference to Khalifa Hafter as commander of the Libyan army continues to draw flack from the general’s opponents.
Siala used the expression during Monday’s summit of foreign ministers from neighbouring countries, staged in Algiers.
Today Misratan members of the House of Representatives (HoR) warned that his comment could pave the way for civil war and undermined local and international efforts to make the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) work. Every Libyan would pay a heavy price if it failed.
The statement from the members insisted that political players could not violate any of the provisions of the agreement. Their protest appeared to overlook the fact that the LPA is still not ratified by the rest of their parliamentary colleagues. The current Algerian-led peace initiative is looking for amendments that can be universally accepted.
The key sticking point for the HoR has been the relinquishing of parliament’s control of the armed forces to the Presidency Council (PC).
Though UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler has been saying that Hafter has an important role to play in a future unified armed forces, many Misratans object to Hafter because of his past as a Qaddafi general. On top of this there has been his crushing of the Benghazi Revolutionaries’ Shoura Council militants in Benghazi along with their IS and Ansar Al-Sharia terrorist allies. The BRSC was supplied from Misrata. Recently the Benghazi Defence Brigades led by Misratan revolutionary leader Mustafa Sharksi has tried to seize back the Oil Crescent export terminals and launch an attack to relieve fellow Islamist militants in Benghazi.
Meanwhile the walls of Tripoli’s foreign ministry where PC head Faiez Serraj and his colleagues receive visitors were today heavily fly posted with defaced pictures of Hafter, some with obscene logos.