Al-Lafi Issues Statement from Ankara as Supreme Commander of the Army Aimed at LNA Military Parade – Al Marsad

Abdullah al-Lafi, who is one of the three members of the Presidential Council and a boycotting member of the House of Representatives for Zawiya, issued a statement signed only by him from Ankara to all the military authorities which was clearly aimed at condemning the upcoming military parade by the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Benghazi to mark the 7th anniversary of the Battle of Karama. 

(LIBYA, 28 May 2021) – Abdullah al-Lafi, who in his statement used the status of the Presidential Council as the Supreme Commander of the Libyan Armed Forces—a prerogative that belongs only to Mohamed al-Menfi who is the Chairman of the Presidential Council, and not to al-Lafi on his own—warned that any unilateral military actions by any party would give other parties justification for similar behaviour. He said all should avoid any unilateral actions of a military nature, including manoeuvres, field movements and military parades, because it may fuel the emergence of new causes for conflict.

HONORING MOHAMED BAHRUN (THE RAT)

He said such actions would obstruct the process aimed at reaching the elections scheduled for the end of the year, and will create obstacles to the unification of the military establishment and threaten civil peace. However, al-Lafi seems to have failed to notice that he had attended a military parade in Tripoli as recently as 4 April 2021 for Volcano of Anger militants.

 

On 30 March, at an earlier military parade, al-Lafi honored Mohamed Bahrun (who goes by his nomme de guerre, The Rat), a GNA-affiliated militiaman wanted by the Attorney General (case No. 131 of 2017) for his connections with ISIS. Instead of arresting Bahrun, al-Lafi awarded him the Medal of Humanitarian Action. Bahrun, The Rat, is well-known in Libyan and international security circle for his direct links to arms smugglers and Islamist military groups in the country.

 

The UN Panel of Experts in their report (S/2021/229) had stated that Ahmed Sassi al-Falla (Abu Laith), who is an ISIS terrorist captured by RADA, had confessed that Mohamed Bahrun (The Rat) had “facilitated his passage, along with his associates, from Sabratha to Zawiya where he was arrested.”

Abdullah al-Lafi and Khaled al-Mishri honoring Mohamed Bahrun (The Rat) with a ‘humanitarian” award.

MAINTAINING “SPIRIT OF NATIONAL UNITY”

In the statement that he issued from Turkey, al-Lafi said: “The military establishment appears to be based on division, and what it is going through is not an a sudden division left by the political and military conflict between the people of the same country, which we all seek to transcend it in the spirit of national unity and harmony.”

He said: “The Libyans were pleased with reaching a Political Agreement in the presence of parties from the entire political spectrum, which led to the unification of the executive authority in Libya and the election of the Presidential Council, and the Government of National Unity, and which culminated in granting confidence to it.” He added that, “these steps represented the resurrection of new hope in a united and stable Libya through the unification of its institutions—foremost of which is the institution of the armed forces.”

He continued in his statement: “We have devoted ourselves to the Presidential Council, the Supreme Commander of the Libyan Army, in accordance with what was stipulated in the Political Agreement, to take all steps that lead to the unification of the military institution, and from that to meeting with all parties and constant communication with the 5+5 Joint Military Committee.” He added that the Presidential Council had issued a communiqué on the prohibition of all “meetings and statements to the media by the military, without prior permission from the Supreme Commander, with the aim of reducing tension, preventing everything that might affect the state of peace in the country, and strengthening confidence between all parties, leading to the actual unification of the military establishment.”

Al-Lafi appealed to everyone to immediately stop everything that might affect the national reconciliation process by taking unilateral steps, calling on all countries to play an active and effective role to avoid any developments that threaten what has been achieved.

The Presidential Council member, Abdullah al-Lafi, is currently in Ankara, Turkey, where he has been meeting Turkish government officials along with the head of the State Council, Khaled al-Mishri, and former GNA Minister of Defence, Khaled al-Namroush, and where they all participated in a symposium organised by the AKP-aligned think tank SETA.

Al-Lafi from Ankara: Libya Today Needs to Re-Evaluate its International Relations and Interests

Meanwhile this week the Libyan National Army (LNA)’s Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, invited the President of the Presidential Council, Mohamed al-Menfi, his two deputies, the Prime Minister of the interim Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdul Hamid al-Dbaiba, his deputies and ministers, the Speaker of Parliament, Chancellor Aguila Saleh, and his two deputies to attend the LNA’s celebration of the 7th anniversary of the Battle of Karama.

Field Marshal Haftar Invites Al-Menfi, Dbaiba, Aguila Saleh to Attend Military Parade in Benghazi

© ALMARSAD ENGLISH (2021)