August 9-15: Haftar seeks to ‘Liberate’ Libya despite Political Solution

Aug 16, 2017 | Libyan actors

The recent political rapprochement attempts between Fayez al-Serraj, Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), and Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander Khalifa Haftar, may be at risk as it appears Haftar is still intent on a military solution to gain control of the capital. On 12 August, Haftar arrived in Moscow for a two day trip and met with Russian FM Sergei Lavrov. Although Lavrov reemphasized Russian support for the political agreement, Haftar focused on other topics.  It is reported that the LNA commander told Lavrov that the LNA controls 90% of Libyan territory and that he intends to continue with a military strategy until the LNA can ‘liberate’ the rest of the country.

On 13 August, former Libyan prime minister Ali Zeidan was abducted from his hotel residence in Tripoli, by Haithem Tajouri’s Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade  – a powerful militia affiliated with the Government of National Accord (GNA). Zeidan is believed to have been on a short visit to the capital and it is allegeded that his arrest was ordered by the Prosecutor General’s office. Although he no longer has a public role in politics, Zeidan continues to have some involvement in the Libyan political scene and there are reports that he is seeking to re-enter politics more formally.  This incident is likely to put more pressure on Fayez al-Serraj’s GNA and its affiliated militias and has the potential to destabilise political rapprochement efforts between Serraj’s GNA and Khalifa Haftar.