Libyan bloodbath with imported weapons, UAE soldiers

This 23 May 2019 video says about itself:

Eastern Libya’s renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar has ruled out a ceasefire, saying he wants to get rid of groups from the capital that have “infested” the United Nations-backed government during a meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

When the question of a ceasefire was mentioned during the meeting, Haftar asked quote: ‘negotiate with whom for a ceasefire’ end of quote.

Khalifa Haftar rejected suggestions he or forces loyal to him were benefiting from oil sales in the east of the country.

Macron and French officials have for weeks repeated their official support for the Government of National Accord based in Tripoli and have called for an unconditional ceasefire. But some European countries, including France, have also supported Haftar

The battle for Tripoli has killed at least 510 people, forced 75,000 out of their homes, trapped thousands of migrants in detention centers, and flattened some southern suburbs.

It has also forced closures of schools, split families on different sides of the front line, and brought power cuts.

The flare-up in the conflict in Libya – which has been gripped by anarchy since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011 – began in early April, when Haftar’s Libyan National Army advanced on the capital Tripoli. The LNA is now bogged down in southern suburbs by fighters loyal to Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA).

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant, 26 May 2019:

In Tunisia, a United Nations expert has been sued for espionage. Colleague academics suspect that he knows too much about foreign arms support to Libya. Many countries, including western ones, have shown little difficulty in violating the UN arms embargo. The UN envoy for Libya is not really hopeful: “The arms for Libya are coming in from all sides. All parties send weapons.”

The charge of espionage in Tunisia against a UN weapons expert, Moncef Kartas, sheds light on the involvement of other states in the power struggle in Libya. Colleague academics suspect that he had discovered too much about the dubious role of a foreign power that is said to have prompted the Tunisian authorities to take action.

The suspicion goes primarily to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is hardly a secret that the Emirates give Libyan field marshal Khalifa Haftar large-scale arms support, in violation of the UN embargo on Libya. The six-member UN panel of which Kartas is a member mentioned that two years ago in a report.

However, many more players are active. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, … and France are also behind Haftar. Members of the Macron government have opemly expressed their admiration for the ambitious warlord, who has conquered much of Libya.

But also the other camp, the UN-recognized Sarraj government, receives plenty of foreign support, for example from Qatar. “And Turkey has recently been very active in violating the arms embargo,” says researcher Jalal Harchaoui of [the Dutch] Clingendael [institute]. Turkey is also on the side of the government in Tripoli. …

Here, the Volkskrant article should also have mentioned the support for the Tripoli government by the right-wing Salvini government in Italy, the former colonial power in Libya. Like the French Macron government wants Libyan oil for the French Total corporation, the Salvini government wants Libyan oil for the Italian ENI corporation.

The UN panel, which monitors compliance with the arms embargo against Libya, has previously noted that, in particular, Field Marshal Haftar benefits from embargo violations. …

In the annual report for 2018 to the Security Council, the UN panel had already carefully pointed out the accumulation of weapons in eastern Libya: armored vehicles, trucks, machine guns, mortars and rocket launchers. The panel also published critical information on Haftar. … Haftar’s son is said to have stolen millions of Libya’s central bank money. …

At the end of April, it was announced that the panel is investigating missile attacks on Tripoli, carried out by the Emirates army as part of Haftar’s offensive. …

UAE soldiers operate from the Al Khadim base in eastern Libya.

From, 14 May 2019:

UNHCR warns against deportation to Libya as fighting continues

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has asked that nobody be returned to Libya as fighting continues in the capital Tripoli.

A spokesman for the UNHCR, Charlie Yaxley, said on Tuesday that returning people to the North African nation cannot be considered a rescue.

“In the past week, around 944 people are known to have departed in boats from the Libyan coast. We know that 65 drowned in an incident off Tunisia, but of the survivors, 65 percent were subsequently disembarked in Libya. The UNHCR has repeatedly called that at this time nobody should be returned to Libya, there are no safe ports there and we cannot consider this to be a rescue if people are being returned to dire conditions inside Tripoli detention centres”, Yaxley said.

A group of aid agencies also called for a U.N. resolution to support people caught up in fighting around Tripoli.

The U.N says 66,000 people have been forced out of their homes and at least 454 others killed since April 5.

15 thoughts on “Libyan bloodbath with imported weapons, UAE soldiers

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  11. TOI STAFF – The Times of Israel – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has privately removed any opposition to the sale of American F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, despite repeated assurances that he is against the deal, according to a New York Times report published late Thursday. The report, which cites unnamed sources involved in the talks, claims that along with the ultra-advanced jets and Reaper drones, the deal also includes radar-blocking EA-18G Growler jets, which could erode the effectiveness of Israel’s air defense capabilities and put the UAE at a considerable military advantage. (rh)


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