As a Chief Commander of the Libyan Army, the Deputy Head of the Libyan Presidential Council, Abdullah Al-Lafi, warned Friday of autonomous military processions and movements without a prior permission from the Presidential Council.
Al-Lafi said in a statement that breakaway military behavior would lead to hindering the ongoing political process and impeding the efforts to unify the Libyan military institution.
He also warned that such military movements, hinting at but not naming Haftar’s Operation Dignity parade in Benghazi that is slated for Saturday, would have negative consequences, adding that no military ranks should appear on media without a prior permission from the Presidential Council because such a coordination among all state institutions would boost confidence-building and eventually lead to the unification of the military institution.
He also said that one autonomous parade would encourage others to the same and could eventually lead to hindering the holding of general elections on time next December.
Meanwhile, warlord Khalifa Haftar, who has waged two wars to seize power from legitimate governments since 2014, has invited the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity, Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah and the Head of the Presidential Council, Mohammed Menfi, to an illegal and breakaway military procession in Benghazi to commemorate his Operation Dignity, which he launched in May 2014 to seize power from the then-executive authority.
The nonsensical invitation by warlord Haftar comes as a bold move to lure the legitimate government officials into attending his breakaway military parade despite the fact that he publicly announced that his so-called Military General Command – a parallel military institution to the Libyan Army – has no relations with or links to the Government of National Unity.
Moreover, the warlord hasn’t even received a permission from the PM who is also a Defense Minister or from Menfi who is also the Chief Commander of the Libyan Army to carry out the parade, knowing that Menfi instructed last month all military officials not to take decisions or appear on media without his prior permission: one that Haftar didn’t get or probably didn’t ask for.
However, both Dbeibah and Menfi traveled to Algeria and Tunisia respectively in a hint that says they wanted to escape Haftar’s parade but without having to say no.
According to a number of analysts speaking to Libya Alahrar TV, Haftar’s behavior is putting the ongoing reconciliation, unification and political process ahead of December elections at great risk, thus ominously taking the the country into speculations of unrest and probably a new war to be waged by the warlord who still enjoys the support of Russian Wagner Group, Syrian, Sudanese and Chadian mercenaries as well as the political and financial support of France, UAE, and Egypt.