Africa Intelligence said that Paris was hoping to bring together the security forces from Libya’s east and west for a summit in the French capital, adding that the meeting had been prepared behind the scenes by the French president’s special envoy to Libya, Paul Soler.
The website said the French diplomatic corps is preparing to host a summit on Libya in Paris following months of meetings between the country’s east and west forces, organized by the United Nations Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL). France wants to build on recent progress made towards a reunification of the armed forces to create a joint force combining the troops of Khalifa Haftar, the military forces of the West – the Libyan Army, and other armed groups through a disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) process.
“This military reunification project, launched in Cairo in 2017, is being monitored by the Berlin Process working group, comprising London, Rome and Berlin.” Africa Intelligence said.
Who’s in Attendance?
According to the report, the meeting in the French capital is to be attended by the UNSMIL’s Head, Abdoulaye Bathily, the chief of staff of Libya’s western region, Mohamed Al-Haddad, and the head of the armed forces in the east Abdelrazik Al-Nathori, as well as the Joint Military Commission (5+5), and the presidential council, comprising the Head Mohammed Menfi and his vice presidents Abdullah Al-Lafi and Mossa Al-Koni.
“However, the chain of command needed before any joint force can be established is proving to be difficult to set in place. There are several options under discussion, including one where the chief of defence staff would take command. Both sides have put forward arguments to take on the role.” The website explained.
Target of the Joint Force
Africa Intelligence said the creation of a joint force is aimed at providing stability ahead of this year’s elections, as planned in Bathily’s roadmap, yet it is looking increasingly unlikely that the ballot will go ahead, as the electoral laws has not yet been voted through by the Libyan House of Representatives – the website said.
For the UN, the reasoning behind the joint forces plan is also to removes foreign forces, such as the Russian paramilitary group Wagner in the east and south, from the country.
The joint force would first be deployed to Libya’s borders and the south-west region of Fezzan, where there is a multitude of armed groups and rampant smuggling of minerals, weapons, people and drugs. To do so, the Joint Military Commission could receive outside training.