Libya: Military actions banned after Haftar’s border takeover

The assertion got here after forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar mentioned they’ve taken management of a border crossing with Algeria.

Libya’s presidential council has banned any navy motion throughout the nation with out its approval after forces loyal to renegade navy commander Khalifa Haftar mentioned they took management of a border crossing with Algeria and declared it a navy zone.

“The Supreme Commander of the Libyan Army announces a complete ban on the movement of military units, regardless of the nature of their work, without his prior approval,” the media workplace of the Burkan al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) Operation, the government-led counteroffensive launched final April, mentioned on Saturday in a press release on Twitter.

It can be banned the motion of  “military convoys for any purpose, or to transfer personnel, weapons or ammunition”, the assertion mentioned.

If obligatory, the “repositioning or moving” of navy convoys ought to solely happen “in accordance … and with the approval of the Supreme Commander”, it added.

Earlier on Saturday, a big navy pressure loyal to Haftar mentioned it took management of the southern Essen border crossing with Algeria, declaring the realm a navy zone through which motion was strictly forbidden.

Images posted on-line confirmed dozens of armoured autos positioned in and across the crossing, which has been closed for a number of years as a result of battle in Libya.

The move got here after Haftar, in a press release on Thursday, introduced an operation within the space “to track down the … terrorists and expel African mercenary gangs which threaten security and stability”.

This is the primary navy operation of its variety by Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army for the reason that signing of a ceasefire deal late final yr and the takeover by the unity authorities.

“Libya has seen relative peace since the ceasefire agreement was signed in October, so this is a very significant movement,” mentioned Al Jazeera’s Malik Traina, reporting from Tripoli.

“It is the first time [since then] that such a large military mobilisation has happened,” he added.

Local sources within the south informed Al Jazeera that the convoy that arrived on Saturday consisted of Tuareg fighters and forces loyal to former strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Libya has been racked with chaos since a NATO-backed rebellion toppled Gaddafi in 2011 and ultimately cut up the oil-rich nation between a UN-recognised authorities within the capital and rival authorities primarily based within the nation’s east, every backed by armed teams and overseas governments.

In April 2019, Haftar and his eastern-based forces, backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, launched an offensive to try to seize Tripoli.

His 14-month-long marketing campaign collapsed after Turkey stepped up its help of the Tripoli authorities with superior navy {hardware}, troops and 1000’s of mercenaries.

The October ceasefire led to the formation of the joint interim authorities, which changed the 2 rival administrations. It is tasked with bringing collectively the divided nation and steering it via presidential and parliamentary elections on December 24.

There have been issues the newest move by Haftar might “impede the elections and the peace process”, Traina mentioned.

An worldwide convention on Libya is scheduled to happen in Germany on June 23. The occasion, co-hosted by the United Nations, is supposed to “bring the foreign actors involved … together in Berlin to discuss supporting Libya’s new interim unity government”.

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