Belated Condemnation of Mass Killing

Three days after the discovery of 36 tortured and killed men near al Abyar, the UNSMIL chief Ghassan Salamé has made a belated public condemnation of the crime.  This happened in the Government of National Accord’s area of responsibility and is an important test whether they are capable of bringing those responsible to account.

The Libyan National Army is distancing itself from the atrocity, but the fingerprints of their Special Forces are all over this.  It’s time for the ICC and UN to act, not just to wring their hands.  The Libyan people deserve better from those in authority.

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United Nations Libyan Talks Stall

Tomorrow is the 72nd anniversary of the day the UN Charter came into force.  The UN in Libya needs all the strength it can muster to resolve the differences between the House of Representatives, elected in 2012, and the Presidency Council created two years ago as part of the Libyan Peace Agreement.

It is disappointing that the Libyan talks in Tunis, led by UNSMIL Chief, Ghassan Salamé, have ended without compromise.  Given the security improvements this year, it is important that the Libyan political leaders support the action plan that was approved by the UN Security Council last month.    See Chapter 6 of Belfast to Benghazi for the challenges leading to the 2012 Election.


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Haftar’s Army Controls Most of Libya

The commander-in-chief of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar, has claimed that he now controls 98% of the 17th largest country in the World.  However, this does not include the capital, Tripoli, nor the industrial port of Misrata.  It is unlikely that Haftar will force his way into these cities, but some of their militias might declare for the LNA.

Haftar’s victories over Islamic Terrorism brings him popularity among ordinary Libyans and takes him closer to the UN viewpoint, but his rivalry to the Presidency Council’s leader and close association with Russia may still prove to be obstacles to a unified solution.

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Libya Condemns Boris Johnson Remarks

The House of Representatives, a key institution in Libya, has condemned Boris Johnson’s insults about Sirte.  The Egypt aligned HoR was elected in 2014 and has the backing of General Hafter’s Libyan National Army and Egypt.  It is a vital part of the UN brokered Peace Agreement.

The Foreign Secretary’s comments will make it very difficult for the British contractors who are being sent to the region to undertake de-mining activities with the recently announced DfID funding.   The Government needs to do something to ensure there is no retaliation for this insult.

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