Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has threatened to intervene in Libya by sending military troops and by arming tribes to fight what he described as “terrorist militias”, referring to the UN-backed and internationally recognized Government of National Accord.
El Sisi’s words came in a tour he made at the borders with Libya, speaking to Egyptian Army forces, in a stark shift of subject as Cairo is set to be deprived from water next month when Ethiopia is set to fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
El Sisi said that Egypt regards Sirte and Al-Jufra in central Libya as a red line and warned the GNA forces against crossing it, in what is seen as a flagrant intervention in Libyan domestic affairs.
Now, Sirte and Jufra harbor the remaining defeated forces of Khalifa Haftar, Egypt’s ally, as well as the Russian and multinational mercenaries fighting for Haftar; not to mention the military equipment pull;ed out of lost areas in western Libya.
El Sisi publicly said that international laws now permit him to send Egyptian armed forces into Libya to “protect Egypt’s national security and borders.”
The spokesman for the Libyan Army’s Sirte-Jufra Operation Room Abdelhadi Drah responded to the threats by saying that El Sisi’s words speak of war and are violations of international laws as well as a flagrant intervention in Libya’s sovereignty.
Drah said El Sisi’s threats that say Sirte and Jufra are a red line are regarded as a declaration of war, adding that Libyan Army forces are willing to liberate all the areas from Haftar’s terrorist militias and their mercenaries as well as supporters.
Meanwhile, the Head of the High Council of State (HCS) Khalid Al-Mishri said El Sisi’s statement about intervening in Libya to save his ally Haftar are unacceptable as they are encroachment on Libya’s sovereignty and unity.
While the Presidential Council member Mohammed Emmari Zayed said El Sisi’s words are encroachment on Libyan sovereignty and a threat to its national security along with the security of North Africa.
Zayed added that Sisi’s threats are rejected, especially his intention to arm militias to fight the legitimate government in Libya, saying that these threats are against the international security as well as the Libyan security, as Libya is a sovereign state that won’t accept a foreign party meddling in its internal affairs or threatening its unity.
The former Head of the HCS Abdelrahman Al-Sweihli also rejected the threats made by El Sisi and reiterated the need for the Libyan Army forces under GNA command to seize all cities and towns from Haftar’s defeated militias and bring them back under the legitimate authority.