By Sami Zaptia.
London, 10 August 2021:
Speaking yesterday from Benina Air Base on the occasion of the 81st anniversary of the founding of the Libyan Arab Army, Khalifa Hafter said his Libyan Arab Army (formerly the Libyan National Army – LNA) will never be subject to any civilian authority – except that elected directly by the Libyan people.
He said the army will not accept deception in the name of civilian (rule) or otherwise and that despite the sharp differences in attitudes towards the homeland, he extends his hands for a just peace.
Haftar said that his eastern-based Libyan Arab Army has never been a tool of oppression and that it has not been authoritarian or arrogant over the people or biased towards a tribe and that it will not be subject to any authority.
He also stressed that the Army is committed to confronting the waves of terrorists who stormed Libya, who raised slogans of death by slaughtering and beheading, and he considered the Libyan Army as the main pillar on which it is based.
Hafter said to the Libyan people, when their future, fate and present were at risk, the Libyan Army was the obstacle to terrorist currents.
He referred to the role of the Army in forming the Joint Military Committee (5+5 JMC) and that the Army played a role in preparing the country for the (Libyan Political Dialogue Forum – LPDF) Road Map, and that without it, the planned 24 December 2021 elections would not have a place on the (political) map.
New military promotions, appointments and reorganizations
Haftar also announced a series of military promotions, appointments and reorganizations, including the appointment of former Prime Minister Abdalla Thinni as the head of the Army’s Political Administration.
Clash with Presidency Council
Hafter’s announcement of the appointment of military personnel in the eastern region comes a day after the Presidency Council had made a statement, in its capacity as the Supreme Commander of the Libyan Armed Forces, in which it stated that issuing decisions to promote officers, appoint commanders of military regions and establish military units, are all the original jurisdiction of the Presidency Council. It had added that any decision that contradicts this from any party or position is null and void.