Monday, May 02, 2016

Libya's Political Split Continues After United Nations Imposes GNA Regime
Xinhua | 2016-05-02 20:27:21
Editor: huaxia

TRIPOLI, May 2 (Xinhua) -- The political division in Libya still poses an obstacle to the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group despite signing a UN-sponsored peace agreement and the appointment of a unity government.

The UN-backed Libyan unity government called in a statement Thursday on its military forces to suspend any military operation against the IS-dominated city of Sirte, some 450 km east of the capital Tripoli.

"The Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord, as the highest commanding authority, calls on all Libyan military forces to wait for the orders of the Supreme leader to appoint a joint military operation leadership in Sirte," the statement said.

The statement comes as the eastern forces of Major General Khalifa Haftar prepares to launch an offensive against the IS in Sirte.

On the other hand, head of the House of Representatives (parliament) Agila Saleh on Friday condemned claiming the position of the Higher Commander of the Libyan Armed Forces.

"We strongly condemn the statement of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord on April 28, in which it claims the position of the Higher Commander of the Army. We consider this to be division and adds more systematic violations to the political agreement."

Khalid Turjuman, a political analyst based in Benghazi, told Xinhua that the unity government is merely a cover for western intervention in Libya.

"The priorities of the UN-backed unity government do not include fighting the IS. This government is merely appointed by the western powers to help dissolve Khalifa Haftar's national army," he said.

Turjuman added "the government is not interested in fighting the IS. It's purpose is to legitimize a western intervention and to bring back the Muslim Brotherhood and the Libyan Islamist fighting group back to power."

He denied that Libya has become a haven for IS. "However, there is a large number of fighters of Boko Haram in Sabha and Sirte."

Ahmad Mismari, Libyan army spokesman, told Xinhua that "there are also sleeping cells of IS in different Libyan cities waiting for certain time and circumstances."

However, he stressed that the actual number of IS fighters in Libya is not as the western media announces, adding that "Sirte battle has no political motives."

"Land, air and naval forces will be involved. We count on naval forces the most because at the start of the battle, we will corner IS in Sirte. All supplies to IS must be cut, which come from foreign countries and international parties through the beaches of Sirte," Mismari said.

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