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International Criticism Grows for Libyan National Army Commander’s Defiance

On 24 December, a mass grave thought to contain the bodies of as many as twenty ISIS fighters was uncovered in the al-Manara neighborhood of Sirte following a report from a local resident. Al-Manara saw the most intense clashes between ISIS and the al-Bunyan al-Marsous forces prior to the former’s defeat in the city in December 2016.

There has been growing international criticism of Libyan National Army general commander Khalifa Haftar following his speech on 17 December where he declared the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) and its institutions expired. On 21 December, French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Haftar and had ‘frank discussions’ for an hour, after which he told press that he told Haftar ‘there is no alternative [to the UN plan] for you’. On 25 December, Egypt’s Chair of the Arab affairs parliament committee General Saad Al Jamal, announced that Haftar’s latest statements added fuel to the fire in Libya and the LPA remains the only internationally and regionally accepted framework for a political solution.

On 21 December, Government of National Accord Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Tripoli and asked France to help secure Libya’s southern border. The meeting also involved discussions on illegal immigration, human trafficking and Libya’s political situation.

Libya-Analysis is the most read independent English-language blog on Libyan affairs. It is run by Jason Pack, founder of and researcher of World History at Cambridge University

This article was republished with explicit permission from the author.