from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) – GLOBAL efforts to secure peace in Libya have suffered a last minute setback after commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, declined to sign a peace pact with the rival Government of National Accord (GNA).
It could not be ascertained why Haftar refused the offer following his urgent visit to Russian capital – Moscow this week.
Fayez al-Serraj, leader of the Western-backed internationally recognised government signed the ceasefire agreement in the presence of Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.
Both Haftar and his Western backed Serraj did not meet physically in Moscow as ceasefire initiatives were conducted through both Turkish and Russian mediators.
Powerful European nations, comprising Britain, Germany and Russia are now pushing for peaceful resolution in Libya when they called for a summit on the North African country in Berlin, Germany on Sunday.
In the wake of the deadlock, Western Asian giant, Turkey, has threatened an onslaught on Haftar’s forces if they continued to attack against the internationally recognised government in the capital, Tripoli.
Turkey is planning to deploy troops amid the crisis that intensified nine months ago.
It is believed Haftar and his forces boast the backing of Egypt, Jordan, Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) mercenaries.
“If the putschist Haftar’s attacks against the people and legitimate government of Libya continue, we will never refrain from teaching him the lesson he deserves. It is our duty to protect our kin in Libya,” Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, told lawmakers in parliament.
Libya plunged into civil war when the United States-France led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) backed a rebellion that ousted Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
He was subsequently murdered.
The conflict has sparked a migration crisis to Europe as thousands seek asylum.
Libyans interviewed by CAJ News blamed Europe’s meddling for the skirmishes in their country.
“The West must stop blaming Field Marshal Haftar, but must swallow their pride and accept their anarchy has led Libya to where it is today,” said scholar Al-Saadi Osman.
Samir Hussein echoed these sentiments: “Western nations sponsored the lawlessness and are equally harvesting fruits of mayhem.”
– CAJ News