BDB offers to demobilize and join legitimate formal army
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 23 June 2017:
The Benghazi Defence Brigade (BDB) has offered to dissolve itself and join in the building of the legitimate formal Libyan army. It says it has taken this decision in order to save Libya from further bloodshed and worsening of living conditions as well as in order to remove the excuse used by France, Egypt and UAE for their planned invasion of Libya. The offer came in a press statement released today.
The BDB had been engaged in a long war of attrition with the Khalifa Hafter-led Libyan National Army in Benghazi which later spread to southern and central Libya. Hafter accuses them of being an Islamist- terrorist organization while they claim that they represent those internally displaced from Benghazi.
In their statement, the BDB said that they were formed for what it called a ‘‘noble’’ aim; which is the return of the internally displaced of Benghazi back to their homes. It said that the BDB had been tasked by the General National Congress (GNC) for this ‘‘humanitarian’’ cause with a general narrative calling for ‘‘reconciliation’’. It stressed that it was not a ‘‘terrorist’’ organization and that it has no ‘‘ideological’’ or ‘‘political’’ aim.
They also stated that they had made efforts to avoid any ‘‘bloodshed’’ citing their ‘‘withdrawal’’ from their battle with Hafter in the Jufra area without putting up a fight as an example. They claimed that they withdrew despite their ‘‘ability to fight’’ and ‘‘win’’ that battle. They stated that they chose to withdraw in order to ‘‘safeguard innocent civilians’’ and in order not to take the battle to ‘‘peaceful’’ areas of Libya.
The BDB also claimed that they had ‘‘exposed the truth of the plot of the coup to interfere and invade’’ Libya by Egypt, UAE and France and that they had exposed their conspiracy on the Libyan revolutionaries (thuwar) and their support for the ‘‘war criminal Hafter’’ with weapons, ammunition, jetfighters and military expertise.
Headed by France, the BDB claimed, after the exposure of their plans, these three states attempted to taint the BDB’s reputation as a terrorist entity.
To this end, in order not to draw Libya into a war and to avoid drawing Libya into a worsening crisis in living conditions and so as to remove the excuse for those plotting to invade Libya, they announce their ‘‘readiness to dissolve/demobilize’’ themselves. They however reserved their right to return to their homes in Benghazi.
The BDB said that they are referring their case to the appropriate entities of the state to look into their future and the cause they were formed for. The appropriate entities can either disband the BDB or reintegrate its members into formal military force belonging to the legitimate military institution – or whatever it deems appropriate, the BDB said.
They assured that there was a group of BDB members ready to enlist to the Libyan army in order to participate in the building military institutions.