The head of the Libyan Presidency Council, Fayez al-Sarraj, said that his country faces several challenges and dangers that call for uniting efforts and rebuilding the military institution to form a professional national army under the umbrella of a civilian state. Meanwhile, the Al-Wefaq government forces confirmed their readiness to repel a possible attack by the forces of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar.
In a speech he gave today, Thursday, on the occasion of the 69th Independence Day for his country, and published by the Libyan News Agency, Al-Sarraj said that the army must be built on the doctrine of loyalty to the homeland, and be able to protect it and preserve its independence and unity in a modern democratic civil state that guarantees freedoms, safeguards rights and achieves justice .
He praised the sacrifices of the people of the February revolution, and referred in particular to the great sacrifices that were made during the “Volcano of Anger” operation that thwarted Haftar’s attack on Tripoli and other cities in western Libya between April 2019 and June 2020, and during the “Bunyan Al-Marsous” operation that ended The presence of ISIS in the city of Sirte (450 kilometers east of Tripoli) in 2016.
The head of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord expressed his hope that the next anniversary of independence will arrive and Libya will witness a democratic wedding in which the people say their word, through parliamentary and presidential elections.
The participants in the dialogue session – which took place in Tunisia last month under the auspices of the United Nations – had agreed to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on December 24 of next year. However, Libyan parties stressed the necessity of a referendum on the current draft constitution before holding general elections.
For his part, Minister of Defense Salah El-Din Al-Nimroush said that the military establishment is proceeding with a steady line towards modernizing its army in a modern scientific manner, and harnessing all its capabilities to build a modern, professional army.
Al-Namrouche pointed out that many classes were graduated in all disciplines, and many students were dispatched to study at the Military Academy at home or abroad.
On the other hand, the Minister of Defense stressed today that the Al-Wefaq Forces are ready to confront any threat and deter any aggressor, whether from inside or outside.
The minister’s statements come a day after the Government of National Accord forces called on their fighters to prepare in anticipation of a possible attack by Haftar’s forces from the city of Sirte to the west.
The Government of National Accord forces stationed west of Sirte had urged its fighters and the forces supporting it to raise the level of alert and prepare to repel what it said was an anticipated move by Haftar’s forces that control Sirte.
In a statement, the Al-Wefaq forces warned of the increasing mobilization and fortifications carried out by Haftar’s forces around Sirte and Jufrah.
The statement stressed that civilians should not approach the areas of military operations west of Sirte, without prior permission from the Field Military Operations Room.
For its part, Haftar’s forces responded with a statement accusing the forces of the National Accord Government of mobilizing their fighters east of the city of Misurata (200 kilometers east of Tripoli) in preparation for the attack on Sirte and Jufrah.
A statement by Haftar’s forces said that the movements of these forces are a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement.
Al-Jazeera correspondent in Libya, Mahmoud Abdel-Wahid, stated that the recent movements of the Al-Wefaq forces responded to the violations committed by Haftar’s forces by sending military reinforcements, especially from Russian, Syrian and Chadian mercenaries, to Sirte and Jufrah.
There has been talk of a possible outbreak of fighting again in Libya with the faltering political efforts to form a new executive authority.
It is noteworthy that the two parties to the conflict signed a ceasefire agreement on October 23 in Geneva, which stipulated the removal of mercenaries from the country within 90 days, as well as the formation of a joint Libyan military force.