8-11th of March 2015
By Asma Khalifa for the Global Alliance for Peace in Libya
The Libyan peace dialogue facilitated by UNSMIL continued in Morocco 5-9 March, despite the fighting on ground reports indicated a positive atmosphere at the sessions. Another meeting took place in Algeria’s capital on March 10th also facilitated by UNSMIL of Libyan political leaders and political activists in support of the dialogues in Morocco.
In Libya, near Sabha in the south there have been clashes that forced road closure, and kidnappings of 4 Filipino. Oil workers in the southern east are highly concerned by the IS n and foreign workers are leaving Tripoli. There is an on-going multiple repatriation programme organised by the embassy, by land via Tunisia. Two weeks ago, 77 were repatriated and another 36 on 5 March. Yesterday, 41 arrived in Tunis from Tripoli and are due to fly to the Philippines tomorrow.
There were more kidnapping of foreign workers from other nationalities, Austrian and Czech diplomats fly to Libya to discuss the issue, the workers were kidnapped in Ghani (a region where IS already struck three oil fields). IS units have struck four oil fields in the area south of Sirt, with Libya’s National Oil Corporation declaring a total of 11 have been shut down as a result of the fighting. The PFG, which recaptured Ghani, says it lacks the manpower and weapons to secure all the country’s sprawling oil fields.
In Tobruk, a ceremony celebrated the appointment of Khalifa Haftar as head of the Libyan armed forces; He was named Commander General of the Libyan National Army and promoted to Lieutenant General by the President of House of Representatives (HoR), Ageela Saleh Gwaider last week. While the air forces continued their attack on Mitiga airport in Tripoli, In line with recent attacks on Mitiga, a revenge attack on Zintan by Libya dawn aircraft appears likely. Tit-for-tat strikes on the two places have become the norm in recent days. Zintan controls Wattiya airbase from which today’s jet fighter is thought to have taken off. Zintan also has its own airport. On March 11th clashes are renewed in the east, The army said today that some 200 fresh troops had travelled from Beida to Benghazi to join in what appears to be increasingly intense fighting for the Leithi city district.
House of representative in Tobruk wants to set strict conditions on the proposed National Unity Government. The House of Representatives (HoR) has asked that the next round of the UN-led Libyan dialogue scheduled for tomorrow in Morocco be postponed for a week. The reason given for the requested postponement is to enable the HoR dialogue committee to consult further with HoR members.
In reality, it is believed that HoR members were keen to get more feedback from the dialogue committee on the Morocco talks, but also to try and reach agreement on the proposed names for a national unity government.
On the international scene, Tunisian border forces find armed cashes between Libya and Tunisia. Jordan detained 4 female GNC members who were supposed to attend a National Government unity dialogue in Amman.
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