Press Review / 2014 01 07 /
LM & KH for ELAC Website
with Your Middle East – PCN-SPO/
Sometimes NATO’s medias are showing the naked truth.
Today ELAC Website reports “Libya's new autocrat: Militias”, an article of ‘Your Middle East’ on Libyan “anarchy”.
"Ansar Al-Sharia cleans the streets of Benghazi and conducts social work to further enhance its standing" confirms YME …
“Security in Libya still remains an ephemeral prospect. The country is awash with guns and militias, numbered in the thousands. Since the collapse of the Gaddafi regime, successive transitional governments have consistently failed to impose their authority over the entirety of its territory and to reverse a deteriorating security climate. An ever-expanding network of rampant militia groups, with varying agendas and scope, is an undeniable obstacle to the country’s post-revolutionary stability. They typify Libya’s complex tribal, regional and ideological makeup, which Gaddafi held together with an iron fist for four decades.
Unable to adequately police Libya’s vast desert borders, the militias pose a threat to regional security. Small arms, antiaircraft missiles and rocket propelled grenades in some of the world’s largest weapons warehouses are readily available for militant groups, jihadists and violent opportunists, who consider these weapons as an “insurance policy” amidst the reigning anarchy. As a result, the entire Maghreb-Sahel region is vulnerable to cross-border militancy emanating from the Libyan “arms bazaar.”
(…) Domestically, the militias also pose a threat to Libya’s unity and stability. Their diktat over strategic zones, including the oilfields the economy is so desperately reliant upon, has greatly undermined the government’s credibility and the country’s livelihood in recent months.”.
A FEDERAL STATE OF CYRENAICA
“ … the POLITICAL BUREAU OF CYRENAICA, a federalist group headed by the self-styled Ibrahim Jadhran, has occupied strategic oil terminals since July. In October, the group announced the creation of a federal state of Cyrenaica. Libya’s economy minister Mustafa Abufanas says Libya has lost $10 billion in potential revenue as a result of these closures.”
MILITIAS INFILTRATE THE SECURITY APPARATUS
AND CHALLENGE THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
“Libya’s post-revolutionary transition governments (…) efforts to corral militias, through the integration of units like the SUPREME SECURITY COMMITTEES (SSC’s) and the LIBYA SHIELD FORCE under full police and army control have failed to produce concrete results. These local brigades are often tasked with securing government facilities or manning checkpoint but militia commanders associated to the government are, for the most part, reluctant to cede their prerogatives completely.”
“Instead, they are happy to double-deal as long as they benefit financially and politically. Throughout 2013, militias invariably challenged the central government. At the start of the year, they besieged government buildings to pressure it into signing a law barring former members of the Gaddafi regime from occupying public functions. A few months ago, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan” – a CIA agent that YME presents as “a former exiled human rights lawyer” (sic) – , “was kidnapped from his hotel by armed members of the LIBYAN REVOLUTIONARY OPERATIONS CHAMBER militia, a group working with the government, only to be released a few hours later. Zeidan’s brief detention illustrated the extent to which anarchy has come to reign over the country.”
TARGETED ASSASSINATIONS IN BENGHAZI AND DERNA
“In Benghazi and Derna, a campaign of targeted assassinations this past year led to the death of military officials, policemen, judges, journalists and local political figures numbered in the hundreds. Not once have those responsible been arrested. Protests in Libyan cities calling for an end to “militia-rule” have become a regular occurrence, often leading to deadly confrontations between local populations and militiamen. In November, clashes between militias from outside Misrata and the local population demanding their departure led to the death of 43 people. The power militias have come to wield in their respective areas has led some figures, particularly in Libya’s fragmented political establishment, to believe that the transitional government’s necessary goal of full demobilisation is unattainable.”
THE AQMI AND ANSAR AL-SHARIA THREAT
“More worrying still for Libya’s stability is the resurgence of terrorist activity by AL QAEDA IN THE ISLAMIC MAGHREB (AQIM) and its affiliated organisations, such as ANSAR AL-SHARIA in Libya. Libya is at the cornerstone of AQIM regional strategy. Members of the intelligence community have gone so far as to label Libya, AQIM’s “headquarters” in the region. With little to no policing of its vast and porous desert borders, the country is now a launching pad for terrorist operations throughout North Africa and beyond, helping jihadi groups in Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt to organise well-coordinated attacks such as the unprecedented hostage crisis at the In Amenas facility in Southern Algeria. Libya’s lawless desert provinces are a haven for weapons trafficking. The vast and unsecured weapons stockpiles, which mushroomed during Libya’s eight-month civil war, are at the mercy of Islamist militants with the financial clout to secure them for their fighters.”
LIBYA : A BASE FOR JIHADISTS
“These groups use Libya as a safe-haven, establishing training camps for new recruits. North African and Western would-be jihadists travelling to Syria to join the fight against the Assad regime begin their journey in training camps situated in Libya’s central and eastern regions. AQMI’s modus operandi in Libya remains largely unclear but its activities in the country follow an all too familiar strategy adopted since the early 2000’s, which consists of identifying and occupying spaces beyond the reach or control of central governments. AQIM’s ability to infiltrate, fund and persuade armed groups with an Islamic agenda should not be understated. In Mali, the group was able to hijack the Tuareg rebellion through a loose coalition with other local jihadi groups to create a short-lived Islamic state in the country’s Northern Azawad region.
AQIM was then able to coerce, entice and even recruit former rebel leaders and youth through well-calculated alliances (e.g. marrying into the local population) and through the creation of criminal trafficking networks from which the local population benefited.”
BENGHAZI : THE STRONGHOLD OF LIBYAN ISLAMISM AND JIHADISM
“Similar tactics are being applied in Libya. Ansar Al-Sharia cleans the streets of Benghazi and conducts social work to further enhance its standing with the local population and discredit the central government. German media sources reported a three-day summit organised by Ansar Al-Sharia in September in the city of Benghazi between AQIM-affiliated jihadi groups from the entire region to coordinate new strategies in Libya, Tunisia and in Syria. The meeting was reportedly attended by Tunisia’s fugitive terrorist leader Abu Iyadh, who was allegedly arrested in Misrata this past week (although much confusion still surrounds this announcement). In the final weeks of December, a suicide bomber detonated a truck filled with explosives at a security checkpoint near Benghazi, killing several people. This first suicide attack signalled a clear and very worrying shift in tactics.”
NO REAL SOLUTION …
“ (…) Ali Zeidan has repeatedly called on foreign powers to assist his government to help curb the proliferation of weapons and militias in Libya. Answering his call and assisting the government in a process of disarming, demobilising and reintegrating (DDR) the militias into legitimate government security forces is the condicio sina qua non to stabilising the country.”
It is not working: “The policy of “buying peace,” which has been applied thus far, won’t work, if anything, it has only made matters worse by emboldening some of the militia groups. On the other hand, a full-on military confrontation could spell disaster for Libya. A forceful attempt to put an end to militia rule in some parts of the country would almost certainly lead to all-out militia backlash and even greater bloodshed.”
Quotations from ‘Your Middle East’/
Titles and comments : ELAC Website
Pic : Al-Qaida rally in Benghazi, november 2011 …