Algerian Political Analyst: Haftar’s Withdrawal from GNA-Backed Skhirat Agreement is Justified – Al Marsad

Speaking on change in the Libyan political scene after Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced his withdrawal from the Skhirat politcal agreement which is backed by Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA), Algerian political analyst Toufik Kouider Chichi argues that the withdrawal decision is justified. He said that given Haftar’s continuous efforts to call for a dialogue and discussion around finding approaches to resolve the political obstacles in the country failed to obtain any significant response from the GNA.

[Libya, 30 April 2020] – In a statement to Media24 on Wednesday, Kouider said that western states were unable to understand Field Marshal Haftar’s announcement and described as an individual decision, completely failing to take into consideration his popularity and the fact that the Libyan National Army controls 90% of Libyan land.

Kouider also noted that there are reasons for this logical decision, as there has been notable contradiction in Fayez al-Sarraj’s position, who calls for political resolution while ignoring calls repeatedly made by Haftar through Berlin and Russia.

Kouider pointed out that Haftar is now left in a very challenging position, after the European Commission announced its rejection of Haftar’s “individual decision”, which it considers to be irresponsible, as well as Russia’s rejection of this decision. The European Commission is calling for a political dialogue and for the compliance with the Skhirat Agreement that came in perpetuation with the Berlin Conference and which the Commission considers as the only solution for the conflict.

The Algerian expert noted that popular legitimacy is Haftar’s only remaining tool for the resolution of the crisis, and that he might use it to pressure all other parties to amend their positions, given that the Libyan conflict is Libya’s concern alone, and external parties must not practice such blatant, biased interference.  

Kouider explained that the Libyan media remains to be one of the issues that need to be addressed, saying: “It is as if we are receiving news from the media of two different countries; one that glorifies the west and is biased towards it, and another that is biased towards the east. Libya needs one unified media front and an agreement that can help overcome this crisis that has been disrupting many Libyan interests and dividing the country between Benghazi and Tripoli.”

© Al Marsad English (2020)