Libya’s Defense Minister: War criminal Haftar cannot be part of political solution

FRANCE 24 spoke to the Defense Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) Salah Al-Namroush, and he described in an interview Khalifa Haftar as a ‘war criminal’, saying that no future political agreement will be reached with him.

In an interview from Tripoli, Al-Namroush, told FRANCE 24 that Haftar’s militias were violating a ceasefire agreed upon by both camps in October as part of the 5+5 military commission, adding that while the GNA forces were respecting the agreement, Haftar, supported by mercenaries, had launched attacks in the south of the country.

Al-Namroush warned that the GNA was ready to pull out of the 5+5 military commission set up by the UN to monitor the ceasefire if those violations were to continue.

The GNA Defense Minister expressed serious doubts that elections could be held in December 2021 as agreed recently by a Libyan national dialogue forum under the aegis of the UN.

He vividly ruled out a possibility that Haftar would retain a role in a future political agreement, branding him a war criminal who should be in jail.

Al-Namroush warned that if the ceasefire broke down, the GNA was ready to engage in a military battle against Haftar who is continuing his violations regardless of international efforts to end the conflict.  

Al-Namroush also said it was a “shame” that France had supported Haftar for years and expressed hope that it would change.

He brushed aside France’s criticism of Turkey’s role in Libya, arguing that the strategic partnership between the GNA and Ankara is clear and public, while the arrangements between Haftar and his foreign backers are made in secret.

Al-Namroush indicated that the GNA was ready to engage in talks with the other side in order to forge a political solution, on the condition that Haftar is sidelined once and for all.

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