Sunday, September 14, 2014

Libya Updates ( September 14 , 2014 ) -- Political and security status updates - daily chaos............“No negotiations” with Libya Dawn says Thinni, condemns Sudan ........ Diplomatic delegation from neighbouring states meets in Tobruk ....... John Kerry in Cairo throws US support behind the House of Representatives ......... Ghariani sacking “imminent”: HoR spokesman .......... HoR sacks Central Bank governor

Sept 18th.....

Chief of Staff Nazhuri declares national state of emergency

By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 18 September 2014:
Libya is in a state of emergency, the General Chief of Staff has said in Tobruk as the the Libyan National Army readies itself for war against “extremist groups”.
In a statement released yesterday the newly-appointed Chief of Staff, Colonel Abdul Razzaq Nazhuri, called on all troops and officers to report for duty in the build up for the renewed conflict, Libya Al-Mostaqbal reported.
“At a time when our beloved country is under fierce attack, we call on all members of the armed forces, officers and soldiers of all description, to return to duty over a maximum period of 15 days,” he was quoted as saying.
Nazhuri added that those who did not comply with the orders would receive strong sanctions.
He called on the Libyan youth and the “Salafist brethren”, who have found themselves under attack by Ansar Al-Sharia and its allies in the east of the country, to join with the army.
The call to arms has been viewed as a response to an upswing in violence in the west of the country. Yesterday the Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room stated that recent air attacks on the town of Ghariyan had been carried out by international forces. The LROR also said that more members of Libya Shield had arrived in Warshefana which is effectively under siege by the Libya Dawn operation.
The appointment of Nazhuri to the job of Chief of Staff was a sign of the increasingly close alliance between Operation Dignity and the House of Representatives. Nazhuri, a commander within the Dignity Operation, is now nominally in charge of the Tobruk-based Karama (Dignity) forces and answerable to the House of Representatives.
Nazhuri’s selection led Operation Dignity to declare that it was the legitimate Libyan Army, a claim it has made since it began its mission this May to rid Benghazi, in particular, of Islamists forces.
However the appointment of Nazhuri caused a split within the armed forces, with the previous Chief of Staff, Major-General Abdussalam Jadallah Obeidi, repeatedly claiming his dismissal was illegitimate.
Former General Khalifa Hafter, the leader of Operation Dignity, has been far less visible in recent months and his relationship with Nazhuri is ambiguous. Operation Dignity sources have indicated that despite Karama’s decision to place itself at the disposal of the House of Representatives, Hafter remains in control.

Misrata airport officials release terse statement directed at Libya’s Ambassador to the UN

By Libya Herald staff.
Ibrahim Dabbashi speaking to the UN Security Council (Photo: United Nations Media)
Ibrahim Dabbashi speaking to the UN Security Council (Photo: United Nations Media)
Tripoli, 18 September 2014:
Misrata Airport officials have complained about the statement on Monday by Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya’s UN ambassador at the UN Security Council, that the airport was under the control of “terrorist militias”.
Dabbashi had been addressing the Security Council and at the end of his speech said that both Misrata and Mitiga airports were were run by “terrorist militias” who allowed the delivery of weapons from other countries.  These weapons,. he said, were enable the “terrorist groups” to be regularly supplied and to continue their activities in Libya
Expressing “deep resentment and puzzlement”, the Misrata officials said that the airport was under the control of the Ministry of Transport and that proper security measures were in place, under the oversight of the Ministry of Interior. They denied the presence of armed groups at the airport.
The officials mentioned that the airport was frequently used by international travelers, diplomatic personnel and senior Libyan political figures. It had been inspected by outside aviation bodies and was approved for international flights to locations such as London, Paris and Dusseldorf.
Accusing Dabbashi of lying, the officials said that just hours before Dabbashi had addressed the Security Council the German Ambassador had visited the airport.
Dabbashi’s house in Libya was demolished and burned shortly after he made his remarks to the Security Council, an act that was condemned in a statement released by the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Development and Global Dialogue.


Warshefana and LROR deal for exchange of prisoners and slain stalls

Rocket hits Zawia storage tank, national oil production expected to slump

House of Representatives member says official dismissal of Grand Mufti imminent

“Government of National Salvation” says Libyan-Egyptian treaty in violation of national sov

Rocket hits Zawia storage tank, national oil production expected to slump

Prior Days Tweets...

: Ansar al-Sharia jihadists & Islamist militias are staging a new assault to capture Benghazi airport

A coalition of Libyan militias has imposed a siege on a suburb of controlled by the Warshefana tribe

Relatives of Libyan ambassador kidnapped in Tripoli: report

At least 19 killed in fierce Benghazi clashes

Libya Herald......

“No negotiations” with Libya Dawn says Thinni, condemns Sudan

By Libya Herald staff.
The Prime Minister says that an offensive
The Prime Minister says that an offensive against Libya Dawn will occur in Tripoli “within two weeks” (Photo: Grab from Sky New Arabia interview)
Benghazi, 14 September 2014:
The Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni has ruled out any negotiations with Libya Dawn accusing it of murder, theft and destruction. In an interview with Sky News Arabia TV, he said it was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood which represented no more than five percent of the Libya people.
He also accused Sudan of backing it and warned that if Khartoum did not stop, diplomatic relations would be cut.
Moreover, he disclosed, there were plans “to take out the armed formations in Tripoli within two weeks” and he called on the capital’s residents to stand up to the armed militias and “get them out of the city”.
In a forthright denunciation of the Islamists, he said they had lost the elections to the House of Representatives and so had resorted to violence and deception in their bid for power.
Calling them terrorists who had been involved in the theft and burning of homes, looting and threatening people’s lives”, he declared there would be no dealing with them. “We do not negotiate with terrorists. We have to defend the Libyan people’s choice.” Dialogue would take place solely with those who recognised the legitimacy of the HoR.
The aim of the Libya Dawn was to control Libya and turn it into a Muslim Brotherhood state, he claimed. It imagined it could do it with the help of Qatar and Turkey, he said. But those two countries had been advised not to interfere in Libya.
Only when the militias were taken out of the situation would Libyan citizens live a decent life, he said.
For the moment, though, “we do not have the ability to collect weapons”, he explained. He stressed the importance of the Air Force in targeting munitions stores belonging to the militants.
The next government, he also revealed, would be one of national unity. It would represent all political movements and all parts of the country.
As for the rump Congress in Tripoli, “it is illegal”, he insisted. It and Libya Dawn controlled less than a third of the country, but by force.
When Congress had been operating, he stated, it had fallen into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood who had deliberately set out to prevent the rebuilding of the armed forces and instead were intent on building up the Brotherhood’s own military support.
The army’s own leadership, too, had been “hijacked” by the Brotherhood, he said, with the result that senior offers had given up while others had been targeted by assassins.
Equating some of the Islamists in Benghazi with the Nigerian terror group Boko Haram as well as claiming that supporters of Al-Qaeda were fighting alongside extremists in the country, he added that the lawful Libyan authorities were looking for help from the international community to smash terrorism in Libya.
That help would be forthcoming, he predicted.
So too would help from neighbouring states. Among them he heaped fulsome praise on Tunisia for its help and support to ordinary Libyans who had fled there because of the events in Tripoli. He also thanked the leader of Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood’s more moderate Ennahda party, Rachid Ghannouchi, who, he said, sought “to reunite the Libyan people”.
Sudan, however, was singled out for particular criticism. He accused it of supporting Libya Dawn and the other Islamist extremists, warning there would be consequences.
His government had already expelled its military attaché, he said. If it persisted with its present policy, “we will break off [diplomatic] relations”.

Ali Zeidan arrives in Tobruk with the German Ambassador

By Libya Herald reporter.
Tobruk, 14 September 2014:
Former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has arrived in Tobruk from Tunis alongside the German Ambassador to Libya, Christian Much . . .

Diplomatic delegation from neighbouring states meets in Tobruk

By Libya Herald staff.
Neighbouring states representatives meet Hor in Tobruk (Photo: Social media)
Neighbouring states representatives meet HoR in Tobruk (Photo: HoR)
Tripoli, 14 September 2014:
Representatives from Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Chad, Niger and Sudan have arrived in Tobruk where they met with officials from the House of Representatives.
The meeting, while addressing security matters, also laid the foundations for a second gathering of the eight countries’ foreign ministers in Tobruk in the near future, the Libyan News Agency LANA reported. The meeting was planned when the neighbouring nations met in Cairo last month in a bid to contain the current crisis.
The delegates met with the President of the House of Representatives, Ageela Saleh Issa, to discuss the most recent developments in the country and to confirm their support for Libya.
Speaking at a summary press conference today, the Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister, Badr El-Din Zayed, told reporters that the need for a comprehensive disarmament of armed groups was paramount. “The sabotage in Libya must stop,” he was quoted as saying by the Egyptian daily Al-Youm Al-Saba.
El-Din, Egyptian Ambassador to Tripoli Mohamed Abu Bakr, Algerian Ambassador to Cairo Nazir Arboua and diplomatic officials from  Tunisia, Chad, Niger and Sudan took part in the meetings in Tobruk.
In Cairo, United States Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri where the two men said their two countries would do their utmost to support Libya and the legitimate House of Representatives.

Ghariani sacking “imminent”: HoR spokesman

By Libya Herald reporter,
Ghariani Tripoli
Sheikh Sadek Al-Ghariani supporting Libya Dawn in Tripoli on Friday (Photo: TV grab)
Tobruk, 12 September 2014:
The spokesman for the House of Representatives, Faraj Hashim, has said that Sheikh Sadek Al-Ghariani will be dismissed as Grand Mufti in the next few days. Speaking on TV last night he said that he was being sacked because of his incitement to violence and his bias over the present political crisis.
Hashim also told this reporter separately that the decision had already been made by HoR members and that the only reason from the delay in announcing it was because there was no agreement yet on who or what should replace him.
According to Tobruk House Representative, Saleh Hashem, however, the HoR is first needs to amend the law to enable it to sack the Grand Mufti.
The HoR also wants the Attorney General to indict Ghariani for incitement to murder.
On several occasions he has described Khalifa Hafter’s Operation Dignity forces in Benghazi and Zintan’s Qaaqaa and Sawaiq brigades as “traitors” who had to be destroyed, calling on revolutionaries to do so. Anyone who died fighting them, he has said, would be a martyr and go to heaven while any “traitors” who died in fighting would go to hell.
On Friday, speaking at a pro-Libya Dawn demonstration in Tripoli’s Martyrs Square on his return to Libya, he both denounced the HoR and said that anyone who did not support Libya Dawn should be punished.
Ghariani, who fled the UK for Qatar late last month after an almost four-month stay when it was rumoured that the British planned to charge him with incitement to murder, was summoned by the HoR to Tobruk for questioning over his statements at the beginning of this month. He refused to go.
It is unlikely, too, that he will pay any attention to the HoR’s decision when it comes.

John Kerry in Cairo throws US support behind the House of Representatives

By Libya Herald staff.
John Kerry on his tour of the region (Photo: US State Department)
John Kerry on his tour of the region (Photo: US State Department)
Tripoli, 14 September 2014:
US Secretary of State John Kerry has said the United States and Egypt will work closely to support the House of Representatives in Libya following talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri.
Kerry, who has been touring the region principally to discuss the crisis in Syria and Iraq,  said in Cairo yesterday that Egypt and the United States would “push for a peaceful resolution” in Libya.
“Ultimately, the Libyan people and their elected representatives are the only ones who can decide that it is time to resolve their conflicts through constructive political dialogue,” he said.
“What we both know is they had an election, the election had an outcome, and everyone should respect the outcome of that election,” Kerry added, referring to elections to the House of Representatives in June.
Shoukri said Egypt would be working with its partners to find a political solution to the situation, saying Egypt hoped to “alert people to the threats associated with the use of military action”. He said Egypt would “continue to support the legitimacy of the Libyan government and parliament, because it’s the only true reflection, of course, of the desire of the Libyan people”.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister said his country would tackle terrorism in whatever form it took whether in the region, “Libya or any other part of the Arab world or in the African continent in particular”.
He said there was little difference between terrorist groups like ISIS and Ansar Al-Sharia. “Ideologically speaking, this organisation is linked and these organisations share that common vision. We don’t believe there’s a difference – perhaps just in the tactics used and the way they depict themselves,” he explained.

HoR sacks Central Bank governor

By Libya Herald staff,
CBL Governor said that (Photo: Sami Zaptia).
Saddek Elkaber (Photo: Sami Zaptia)
Tobruk, 14 September 2014:
The House of Representatives has sacked Saddek Elkaber, the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya, and has asked the Attorney General to investigate him and allegations of financial irregularities at the bank.
The House voted for his removal this morning by 94 votes out of 102 members present. The Deputy Governor, Ali Salem Hibri, is to take over temporarily.
The HoR has been discussing Elkaber’s position for the past month and there were reports eleven days ago that members had decided to sack him after he failed to turn up following a summons to Tobruk for questioning. At the time he said he was sending Hibri to stand in for him. In the event, the reports of the sacking were denied with a member saying that the HoR did not want a row with the Central Bank because it could result in Libya’s assets abroad being frozen. This would include oil revenue receipts.
The decision to dismiss him now is thought to be linked to the row over the transfer of funds from the account of the General National Congress to that of the HoR, allegedly by Hibri. A figure of LD 80 million was widely reported, but a Central Bank official on Thursday was quoted saying the figure was exaggerated and that it was LD 11 million.
The official also said that reports that Hibri has been summoned to the bank for investigation over the transfer  were likewise untrue.
It is alleged, however, that Elkaber, who was in Tripoli during the week, had closed the HoR account on the basis that it was illegal because the new legislature has not been yet inaugurated by the General National Congress.
It is not known if Hibri, who is now back in Tripoli, will be allowed to operate locally by Libya Dawn forces which control the capital or by the “government” of Omar Al-Hassi.
There has been no reaction from Elkaber who is believed to be attending a banking conference in Algeria. However, given that the international community recognises the HoR as Libya’s legitimate legislature and not the rump Congress, he and those acting on his orders will now be unable to control CBL funds held abroad.
Nothing has been said yet about his position as chairman of the Arab Banking Corporation, which is majority-owned by the Central Bank.
The Prime Minister, Abdullah Al-Thinni, is known to have wanted Elkaber’s removal. In April, he accused him of exceeding his powers and refusing to release funds for the government approved by Congress.