Al-Mangoush: It Is “Absurd” to Talk About the Exit of Turkish Forces from Libya – Al Marsad

The Misrata leader and former Chief of Staff of the former General National Conference, Yousef al-Mangoush, said that unifying the military institution was impossible because of the many difficulties in its structure.

(LIBYA, 29 June 2021) – Yousef al-Mangoush, who is strongly loyal to Turkey, claimed during a media interview on Qatar’s Al-Jazeera channel on Monday that “the forces in eastern Libya [the Libyan National Army] are a tribal or family militia led by the sons of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar and his relatives.”

He continued: “There is a major imbalance in the command structure in eastern and western Libya, in addition to the large inflation in the number of those who hold high military ranks, whether in the east or west.”

Al-Mangoush said that the military establishment in the east and west bears weaknesses that make it difficult to unify them, claiming that the “war” launched by “Haftar” (Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Haftar) against the capital, Tripoli, and what followed made that even more difficult.

He said there must be a “transitional period in which the structure of the institution is first reformed and then unified, because it cannot be unified in the current situation.”

“The external support that Haftar receives is the reason behind what he is doing, but if this support stops, he will have no role,” commented al-Mangoush.

And he added: “Haftar will not accept any efforts to unify the military institution under an elected leadership, and the recent movements of Haftar’s forces on the border with Algeria are aimed at proving that he controls large areas of Libya, as a prelude to imposing the results he wants in the elections.”

He claimed that the constitutional rule that is currently being discussed represents an effort to aid Haftar’s accession to power.

Al-Mangoush said, “It is possible to hold parliamentary elections, but there will be difficulty regarding the possibility of holding transparent and fair Presidential elections due to Haftar’s control of the eastern region.”

He added, “There will be difficulties for some candidates to conduct electoral campaign in the areas controlled by Haftar if they oppose him, and there is a big problem in the exit of Wagner mercenaries because they are out of Haftar’s control, and Russia is the only party that can order it to leave.”

Al-Mangoush also said—contrary to the position of the Libyan Parliament, the 5+5 Joint Military Committee, the UN, and Berlin I and II—that it was “absurd” to talk about the exit of Turkish forces while the other forces and mercenaries remain in Libya.