Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Libya Updates ( August 26 , 2014 ) -- What is amazing isn't that Libya is a mess political with apparently two separate attempts to organize a Government underway presently - not with the clear political / religious outlook / tribal / regional and different Militia formations abounding....... What amazing is the view expresses by the US / UK / France and Germany concerning " outside interference " exacerbating Divisions and undermining democratic transition ( have they arrogantly forgotten they bombed Libya to hell and back already ? )


France, Germany, Italy, UK and US: outside interference will exacerbate divisions and undermine democratic transition

By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 26 August 2014:
The governments of France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US have said that outside interference in Libya would only exacerbate the current divisions within the country and undermine Libya’s democratic transition.
In a joint statement on Monday, the western nations strongly condemned the escalation of fighting and violence in and around Tripoli, Benghazi and across Libya, especially against residential areas, public facilities and critical infrastructure.
Reiterating their repeated calls for all parties to observe an immediate ceasefire and engage in constructive dialogue, they implored the militias to abstain from confrontational initiatives that risked undermining the democratic process.
The group also stated that those responsible for the violence, which has undermined Libya’s democratic transition and national security, must be held accountable and that consequences for their actions should be discussed by the United Nations Security Council.
They called on Libya’s interim government and the House of Representatives to adopt inclusive policies that benefited all Libyans and encouraged the Constitutional Drafting Assembly to immediately return to drafting a document that would protect the rights of all Libyans. In particular, they called on the international community to stand behind Libya’s elected institutions.
The European Union (EU) released a similarly worded statement, saying it welcomed the coming United Nations Security Council’s discussions regarding Libya.   The EU statement condemned the use of fighter jets to carry out strikes on residential areas.


Victims of terrorist violence appeal to UN to intervene in Libyan crisis

By Libya Herald staff.
Libyan victims with DVA members in London (Photo: DVA)
Tripoli, 26 August 2014:
The UK-based Docklands Victims Association (DVA), founded in the aftermath of a massive terrorist attack in London’s Docklands in 1996 in which the IRA used semtex explosive provided by Qaddafi, has called on the UN to immediately intervene in the Libyan crisis to prevent a further loss of Libyan lives and humanitarian disaster.
In a letter addressed to UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon on 25 August, the DVA, which was very involved in humanitarian work with the Qaddafi’s victims, thanked the UN for its willingness to aid in the overthrow of the former dictator in 2011, which “saved countless innocent Libyan lives”.
It went on to say that, through direct communications with a number of individuals in Libya, the DVA had confirmed that “appalling” crimes against humanity” were being carried out by the militia involved in fighting. They were “using fear to destabilise the country and eradicate democracy”, the DVA said.
It warned that an “unparalleled” humanitarian crisis would occur if additional international intervention were not immediately implemented.
The DVA appeal challenges statements by the UN which have called for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of national dialogue, but have warned that outside intervention could undermine Libya’s sovereignty and cause further divisions within the nation.
The newly appointed UN envoy to Libya Bernadino Leon has said that he does not believe that foreign intervention of any kind would stop the turmoil in Libya.  Only an inclusive political process with all Libyans represented in parliament and other state institutions would do so, he said.
However, “Libyans who want to fight the chaos through political means will need a lot of international support,” he conceded.


Libya Dawn accused of taking revenge on Tripoli opposition

By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 26 August 2014:
Scores of Zintanis living in Tripoli have been captured and hundreds individuals opposed to Libya Dawn Operations have had their homes torched since the it took control of the capital.
Residents in Tripoli told the Libya Herald that 280 homes had been looted and set alight since the Misratan-led forces took control the the airport two days ago. This included the house of Transport Minister Abdelgader Ahmed, a Zintani, Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni, Othman and Abdelmajid Al-Milaiqtah, commanders within the Zintan revolutionary brigades, and Mohammed Al-Farjani, a Tripoli-based reporter for Alarabiya  TV. 
Zintan Municipal Council has described the plight of Zintanis in Tripoli as “a very dark situation”. Spokesman for the council Omar Matoog said it had complied a list of 80 names of those who had disappeared in recent days. “We do not know if they have been kidnapped or killed,” he said. He added that while Zintani officials had been targeted in the attacks, normal families and civilians had not escaped the violence.
“This is a disaster,” Matoog said. “I do not know how to describe the situation on the ground. The families are without homes; now they are refugees,” he explained.
Matoog said Zintan Municipal Council was collating a file on the the abuse and that it would pass it to the UN or the relevant international legal authorities.
While Zintanis could feel secure in their own town he claimed thatr what Libya was now witnessing was a battle not just between Misrata and Zintan but for the whole country.
It has been claimed that Zintani forces withdrew two days ago from Tripoli International Airport and other bases they held in the capital on specific orders from the House of Representatives.


Abu Sahmain, Ghariani condemned by Thinni and parliament leader Saleh

By Libya Herald staff.
Prime Minister Abdullah Al;-Thinni (right) and House of Representatives President Ageela Saleh in Tobruk today
Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni (right) and House of Representatives President Ageela Saleh in Tobruk today (Photo: Sky News)
Tobruk, 25 August 2014:
Nuri Abu Sahmain, the former president of the General National Congress, is just an ordinary citizen and Congress no longer exists or has any legitimacy, the head of the House of Representatives and the Prime Minister said this afternoon.
Speaking in a joint press conference in Tobruk, Ageela Saleh and Abdullah Al-Thinni were responding to events earlier in the day when a handful of former Congress members turned up to meeting in Tripoli convoked by Abu Sahmain and decided to appoint a new prime minister.
“The procedures and meetings that have been taken by Abu Sahmain are invalid,” Thinni said, “He is now an ordinary citizen. . . The House of Representatives is the only legitimate body in Libya.”
For his part Saleh denounced Abu Sahmain’s announcement of a new government, declaring it unconstitutional. It was up to the HoR to decide on a new government, and it would do so in its own time.
As for those who were trying to physically prevent members of House returning to Tobruk, they were committing a “criminal offence”, he said.
In wide ranging series of statements on Libya’s present crisis, the two also condemned the Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, who in recent days has repeatedly used his position to attack the House as well as support Operation Libya Dawn in Tripoli and the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council.
“The Grand-Mufti has issued illegitimate and incorrect fatwas”, the Prime Minister said, condemning Ghariani for being ideologically motivated and issuing statements that were not job.
Saleh added that the House would now discuss Ghariani’s position sooner rather than later.
Repeating that he had sacked Deputy Defence Minister Khalid Sharif, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, because he had left the country without permission, Thinni pointed out that Tripoli was not safe for the government: “Most of the ministers have received threats, and the headquarters of Council of Ministers is not safe at all,” he said.
Refering to the fact that many people’s Tripoli homes, including his own, and had had been attacked and torched in the past 24 hours , he called those responsible “cowards”. They were not real revolutionaries, he said, comparing them to, instead, to members of the Qaddafi regime who wanted to impose their own ideology by force. But Libya could not be ruled by force he warned; it was now impossible to impose ideology on the country.
It was not all doom and gloom, Thinni nonetheless noted. “Crude oil production now amounts about 600,000 barrels a day (b/d) – a reassuring positive rate – and revenues will be good,” he said. Moreover, oil experts anticipated that exports would continue to grow, he added, with “normal rates” by the end of October.
Before the revolution, Libya exported 1.6 million b/d. The figure was around 1.5 million b/d before the eastern oil terminals were closed down by Cyrenaica federalists a year ago.
As to foreign help in confronting Libya’s problems, Thinni said that his government was looking to the UN Security Council to approve measures to help the situation.
Saleh, who said that a law on terrorism would be passed soon, added that HoR members were visiting Egypt, France and US in search of support and that he himself was going to Egypt tomorrow to meet President Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi.


Congress rump “appoints” Omar Hassi as Prime Minister

By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 25 August 2014:
An attempt by the former General National Congress to resurrect itself and take back power turned into farce today as it tried to “appoint” an emergency government . . .


Marghani offers resignation as Justice Minister

By Libya Herald staff.
Tobruk, 25 August 2014:
Libya’s Justice Minister Salah Al-Marghani says he has tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni because he could not perform his duties . . .


US Furious After Source Of "Mystery" Libya Bombing Raids Revealed

Tyler Durden's picture

Over the past week a new geopolitical mystery emerged: an "unknown" party was launching airstrikes against Libya, which is already reeling in its latest political crisis where headlines such as this have become the norm:
The strikes puzzled all media outlets, including Reuters which just over the weekend reported that "Unidentified war planes attacked positions of an armed faction in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Saturday, residents and local media said. Local channel al-Nabaa said the planes had attacked four positions of the Operation Dawn, an umbrella of Islamist-leaning forces from Misrata which has been trying to expel brigades from Zintan, also located in western Libya." This follows a similar report when on Monday, the government said unknown fighter jets had bombed positions from armed factions in Tripoli, an attack claimed by a renegade general in Benghazi.
Turns out the renegade general was lying, and merely trying to take credit for another party's intervention. That party, or rather, parties has been revealed as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, which as the NYT reports, "have secretly teamed up to launch airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials said, in a major escalation between the supporters and opponents of political Islam."
But what is surprising is not the intervention: after all, hardly a day passes now when there isn't some small to medium political invasion taking place somewhere, in a world in which newsflow no longer affects anything. It is that both countries decided to roundly ignore advising the one country which previously had made it quite clear it has explicit national interests in Libya: the United States.
The United States, the officials said, was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington or seeking its consent, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines.
It gets worse: Egyptian officials explicitly denied the operation to American diplomats, the officials said. It is almost as if the theme of ignoring and/or mocking US superpower status exhibited mostrecently by both China and Russia, is gradually spreading to even the more "banana" republics around the world. Because while one can debate the pros and cons of any previous administration, it is very much improbably that any regime, especially ones as close to the US as the UAE, and to a lesser extent Egypt, would have conducted such military missions without preclearing with the Pentagon first.
So now that the "mysterious" owners of the punitive bombing raids has been revealed, the next question is: why? The answer is simple - to keep Islamists in check. And since the US can no longer be relied on to do the bidding of formerly key petrodollar allies, the UAE decided to take the law into its own hands.
The strikes are another high-risk and destabilizing salvo unleashed in a struggle for power that has broken out across the region in the aftermath of the Arab Spring revolts, pitting old-line Arab autocrats against Islamists.Since the military ouster of the Islamist president in Egypt one year ago, the new Egyptian government, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc exerting influence in countries around the region to rollback what they see as a competing threat from Islamists. Arrayed against them are the Islamist movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood, backed by friendly governments in Turkey and Qatar, that sprang forward amid the Arab spring revolts.
And while "old-line Arab autocrats" may see the military invasion as justified (they can simply point to what the US is doing in Iraq), that doesn't mean that the US is happy in being ignored. In fact, quite the contrary: the US is "fuming" (perhaps because it is not the one conducting the airstrikes?)
Libya is the latest, and hottest, battleground. Several officials said that United States diplomats were fuming about the airstrikes, believing they could further inflame the Libyan conflict at a time when the United Nations and Western powers are seeking a peaceful resolution.

“We don’t see this as constructive at all,” said one senior American official.
The U.A.E. has not commented directly on the strikes. But on Monday an Emirati state newspaper printed a statement from Anwar Gargash, minister of state for foreign affairs, calling questions about an Emirati role “an escape” from the recent election that he suggested showed a desire for “stability” and a rejection of the Islamists. The allegations about the U.A.E. role, he said, came from a group who “wanted to use the cloak of religion to achieve its political objectives,” and “the people discovered its lies and failures.”
Most important, however, is that as the NYT notes, this latest escalation in direct political intervention in a sovereign state, means the middle-east is no longer a playground for proxy wars: after all, who needs to beat around the bush when one can directly bomb a proximal country without fears of repirsals by the international community, as Abu Dhabi and Cairo have done:
Officials said that the government of Qatar has already provided weapons and support to the Islamist aligned forces inside Libya, so the new strikes represent a shift from proxy wars —where regional powers playout their agendas through local allies —to direct involvement.
All of this ignores whether or not the strikes have actually achieved their objective of halting the militants' progress. They haven't.
The strikes have also proved counterproductive so-far: the Islamist militias fighting for control of Tripoli successfully seized its airport the night after they were hit with the second round of strikes.

American officials said Egypt had provided bases for the launch of the strikes. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and other officials have issued vigorous but carefully worded public statements denying any direct involvement inside Libya by Egyptian forces. In private, officials said, their denials had been more thorough.
American officials said the success of that earlier raid may have emboldened Egypt and the U.A.E. to think they could carry off the airstrikes without detection. Or the brazenness of the attack may reflect the vehemence of their determination to hold back or stamp out political Islam.
The biggest irony in all of this is that, just like in the case of ISIS, the U.A.E. is said to have one of the most effective air forces in the region, and is now using it to engage its own enemies directly, all of which is possible excluslively thanks to American aid and training.
Which means that at this point one can start the countdown until the US, seemingly in aattempt to halt the progress of another ascendent regional hegemon, will now arm the very Islamists that it was backing in Egypt before the whole Morsi fiasco, in the process making even more enemies, while the rest of the world awaits as the latest batch of weapons are used either against US interests in the region, or, as ISIS has shown, against the US itself.
Clearly, however, what is needed, is even more US intervention in a region which is rapidly bacoming nothing but rubble thanks to US weaponized "assistance and training", which benefits nobody except a few US military/industrial conglomerates, and the global money-laundering banking consortium of course.