Saturday, 5 August 2017

LIBYA BTWN FRANCE & ITALY

"In every conflict, regular maneuvers lead to clash and unpredictable victories," said Sūnzǐ, general and Chinese strategist of the 5th century BC. In today's Europe, however, Emmanuel Macron demonstrates and applies this maxim: with the fragile meeting of Paris with President Sarraj and General Haftar for the Libyan solution. A "zombie" move that left many international actors, in particular Italy, one of the protagonists in the area, who had to react not only with a close-knit smile to the gollosis initiative but also with a noisy silence .

Italy, which has always sought to be a protagonist in Libya in the economic and diplomatic fields, has come up with a photo memory that in itself has no real value (given the lack of signatures of the two Libyan government authorities) but Certainly a significant political burden in the era of new imperialism on the African continent. Photo taken while all the Italian feluchi, gathered together with Rome, tried to demonstrate the unity and strategic will to achieve ambitious soft power.

The new French colonialism seems to be anachronistic, but only the setting and the demonstration of domination have been set aside; The narrative has changed, but the effects are still apparent and the results are far from off. Colonialism in globalized sauce is more subtle, but also shared, given the many interests: from the African-Chinese understanding in the economic and military sphere, to the new Marshall plan in German style and to the new French and US roles in the continent.

A series of passages that have changed the genetics of globalization into a form of "political" imperialism veiled by economic interests and stabilization. A sort of "Holy Alliance 2.0" where the rulers, gathered in Brussels, discuss together and jointly to develop a climate of serenity and peace, although in reality everyone in the heart is dominated by an unpressed national revanscism force on the European continent but Completely visible beyond the Mediterranean. I do not think change battlefield and army, while enemies are always the same, either the right path I'm not saying to create a lasting peace but at least to begin solving hiccups.

A hypocrisy of the Old Continent that risks bringing the European integration project to a perfect script as if it were a sort of enlarged Weimar republic, while in the rest of the world a campaign of influence is underway to align new interests and give Opportunity to emerge in new global markets, a case for all Angola with its capital Luanda.

The case of Libya is once again a Game of Thrones saxophone where diplomacy is showing the best of itself to hide the opposing faces of national unity: on the one hand the influences of Russia and the Arab Emirates, On the other, Turkey and Qatar. A battle for European intellectual intelligence that risks giving a distorted view of the facts and scenarios.

The Makronan Empire or the Reich Merkelian are strong cultural manifestations that have very persuasive collective imaginations, but represent not a new colonization, but the protection of their interests in the game of supremacy in the Middle East and Africa.

It is well understood that the Libyan script is not just an economic or political game of "home Europe", but a game that can delegitimize a series of deployed forces that are now also looking for new game scenarios to express Their dominant force and their cultural expansion outside continental contexts.

IN  ITALIAN

“In ogni conflitto le manovre regolari portano allo scontro e quelle imprevedibili alla vittoria”, diceva Sūnzǐ, generale e stratega cinese del V secolo a.C. Nell’Europa odierna invece è Emmanuel Macron che dimostra e applica questa massima: con il fragile incontro di Parigi con il Presidente Sarraj e il generale Haftar per la soluzione libica. Una mossa “lampo” che ha lasciato spiazzati molti attori internazionali, in primis l’Italia, uno dei maggiori protagonisti nell’area, che ha dovuto reagire non solo con un sorriso a denti stretti all’iniziativa gollista, ma anche con un rumoroso silenzio.
L’Italia, che ha sempre cercato di essere protagonista in Libia in campo economico e diplomatico, si è ritrovata con una foto ricordo che di per sé non ha una valenza effettiva (vista la mancata firma dell’intesa delle due autorità governative libiche) ma sicuramente un rilevante peso politico nell’era del nuovo imperialismo nel continente africano. Foto ricevuta mentre tutte le feluche italiane, riunite insieme a Roma, provavano a dare prova di unità e volontà strategica di conseguire soft power ambizioso.
Il nuovo colonialismo francese sembra essere anacronistico, ma è stata accantonata soltanto la scenografia e la dimostrazione di dominio; è cambiata la narrativa, ma gli effetti sono comunque evidenti e gli esiti tutt’altro che scontati. Il colonialismo in salsa globalista è più sottile, ma anche condiviso, visti gli interessi molteplici: dall’intesa afro-cinese in campo economico e militare, al nuovo piano Marshall in veste tedesca e ancora al nuovo ruolo francese e a quello statunitense nel continente.
Una serie di passaggi che hanno mutato la genetica della globalizzazione in una forma di imperialismo “politico” velato dagli interessi economici e di stabilizzazione. Una sorta di “Santa Alleanza 2.0” dove i regnanti, riuniti a Bruxelles, discutono unitamente e congiuntamente per lo sviluppo di un clima di serenità e pace anche se in realtà nel cuore di ognuno domina una forza di revanscismo nazionale inespresso nel continente europeo, ma del tutto visibile al di là del mediterraneo. Non credo che cambiare campo di battaglia ed esercito, mentre i nemici sono sempre gli stessi, sia la strada giusta non dico per creare una pace duratura ma almeno per iniziare a risolvere problemi cogenti.
Un’ipocrisia quindi del Vecchio Continente che rischia di portare il progetto dell’integrazione europea ad una sceneggiatura perfetta come se fosse una sorta di Repubblica di Weimar allargata, mentre nel resto del mondo è in corso una campagna di influenza per allineare nuovi interessi e dare possibilità di emergere a nuovi mercati globali, un caso per tutti l’Angola con la sua capitale Luanda.
Il caso della Libia rappresenta ancora una volta uno scacchiere in salsa “Game of Thrones” in cui la diplomazia sta mettendo in mostra il meglio di sé per nascondere i veti contrapposti all’unità nazionale: da un lato le influenze di Russia ed Emirati Arabi, dall’altra Turchia e Qatar. Una battaglia all’insegna dell’ingenuità intellettuale europea che rischia di dare una visione distorta dei fatti e degli scenari.
L’impero macroniano o il reich merkeliano sono manifestazioni di culture forti che hanno di per sé immaginari collettivi molto persuasivi, ma rappresentano non una nuova colonizzazione bensì la tutela dei propri interessi nella partita della supremazia in Medio Oriente e in Africa.
Si comprende bene quindi che la sceneggiatura libica non è solo un gioco economico o politico di “casa Europa”, bensì una partita che può delegittimare una serie di forze schierate che oggi si trovano anch’esse alla ricerca di nuovi scenari di gioco per poter esprimere la loro forza dominante e il loro espansionismo culturale al di fuori dei contesti continentali.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Seif Al Islam Kadafi

Forty-one days after the official release of Saif al-Islam Kadhafi in Zintan, the son of former Libyan leader has not yet reappeared. Speculation about its fate will give up for dead. But the reality is different. It does not show for safety reasons. Many people and parties want his head. His supporters are now convinced that NATO, which failed to kill him in 2011, still trying to get his head.

Despite the intimate conviction supporters of Saif al-Islam, the West does not see in the person of the younger son of Mouammar Kadhafi a new leader for Libya. At least for the moment. It remains claimed by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes allegedly committed during the 2011 uprising, but he did not deliver and lawyers say his case lack of content.

State secrets holders and with records of some Western leaders and services, its existence embarrassed and sensitive issues will sooner or later come out. So, the temptation to silence this potential heir to power in Libya turns out great.

Inside Libya, Islamists seek to exclude him from the political landscape. He knows them perfectly. It was he who freed them from his father's prisons, on condition of leaving the weapons. Weapons were not left  in 2011. Saif al-Islam considered that they cheated despite the dialogue it was established with them.

Currently, the Zintan military council is strongly divided. Al Ajmi Al Eteiri, head of the brigade in charge to keep Saif al-Islam and his team is sanctioned Abou Bakr Al Siddik is dissolved. Not only he released Saif al-Islam katiba but this had prevented his assassination several times during his imprisonment.

Osama Joweli, head of the military council of the town of Zintan and defense minister in 2011, is deemed close to the current of political Islam. He objected to the release of Saif al-Islam and wanted to get their hands on him without success. Jouayli is suspected to be the ally of Ali Al Sallabi, an Islamist living in Qatar. Former prisoner as an Islamist, he was released by Saif al-Islam itself. Jouayli Sallabi and seek to deliver the CFI.

Blurring role of Qatar

Informed Libyan sources said that Qatar, with Libyan Islamist Fajr Libya, had tried several times to kill Saif al-Islam. His place of detention was targeted by Aviation several times in 2014 and 2015. Saif al-Islam life owed to leaks.

The sponsors of the assassination of his father will not be quiet with Saif al-Islam at large. The charges then head to Qatar, but also to France that hit the convoy of Libyan leader. Political Islam, he knows.

The Islamists know very well that with Saif al-Islam to power they will have no place they are looking for being in power in Libya. They fight with all their might, therefore, to eject it from the country's political scene.

The Libyan press and Internet evoke words they attribute to Saif al-Islam at its release. He would have said he would assign Qatar before Intl Court of Justice for having ordered the assassination of his father.

Against all those who want the head of Saif al-Islam, to take power or to keep secrets, there are many people who want to put at the head of the country, and especially the tribes, founder and influential in Libyan society. These tribes see in Saif al-Islam the next savior and the only person able to lead reconciliation efforts in the country.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

LIBYA & USA Jul 2017

According to two sources inside the American administration who spoke with CNN,in the coming weeks is coming from Washington a new strategy on Libya. At issue there would be a policy different from disinterested reading that so far President Donald Trump has given the crisis - seen not as a matter of strategic interest to the Americans, but only one hunting camp to strike the remnants of the Islamic State remained in the country after the fall of Sirte, a stronghold. The Americans would intend to re-open the consulate in Benghazi, whose liberation from Islamist groups, jihadists (and some spurious baghdadist) was recently by Haftar forces, and retract the ambassador in Libya, which is now far from the country due of poor safety conditions. Not only that Washington plans to send military advisers and instructors to help the nascent Libyan security forces.
BETWEEN Serraj HAFTAR
now it would be in the approval (and therefore by no means definitive) a plan to try a more involved approach even towards the war that divided the country in an attempt to reconcile the warring militias under the umbrella of the government in Tripoli. It is worth mentioning that the UN, since December 2015, has signed an agreement for national reconciliation, supporting a prime minister, Fayez Serraj,which despite a forced induction last spring has not had final confirmation of his role, and find obstacles both in the western portion of the country (where there are Islamic faction that does not support it) is in the east, where general Khalifa Haftar has set up an ambitious political program that masquerades as anti-terrorism campaign. The complicated situation weighs the presence of the interests of external actors, such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia, which have provided support to Haftar, and Europe that has sided with Serraj without much conviction. Monday, July 10, the Pentagon chief James Mattis hosted in Washington, in two separate meetings, both the Tunisian prime minister, and Tuesday will see the Italian Minister of Defense Roberta Pinotti.
THE CENTRAL 'LIBYA
The Libyan crisis Italy has immediately tried to build an open position, supporting the UN sector process, but seeking dialogue with the East. And Italians are the first interested in the new American approach, since resolving the Libyan crisis would open by the way the real possibility to intervene in the migration process. Libya is the launching point for human trafficking that ply the Mediterranean, and, despite the agreements sought from Rome, direct intervention in the North African region is impossible until there are political authorities and actual military and capable of administering the country ( all). The new US strategy will still have as a formal goal the fight against terrorism, as the face defeat in Sirte has not canceled the Islamic state from the dial, but has lost it in the southern areas - the ungovernable Fezzan, a no man's land in the hands of local tribes - putting him in contact with the dynamics of the other jihadist groups that run through the Sahel and confuse their own interests with criminal activities (smuggling and trafficking of all kinds, including people).
US PROJECTS
But there is also a political side, because the Americans - as mentioned - they are going to re-open the consulate in Benghazi, whose liberation from Islamist groups, jihadists (and some spurious baghdadist) was recently by Haftar forces, and retract the ambassador in Libya, which is now far away from the country because of poor security conditions. Note: the reopening of the Benghazi consulate has a rather symbolic value, because it was closed in 2012 when an attack organized by Al Qaeda militia killed four Americans, including the console Chris Stephens (an open wound in the US when it comes to Libya ). Also, in Benghazi reinstated would strike up some kind of formal collaboration with Haftar, which controls the area. Washington also plans to send military advisers and instructors to help the nascent Libyan security forces, and could formalize the role of fifty special units sent around the country to gather intelligence on terrorist groups ( "officially" because such teams are already on the ground in Libya for years and play a similar task). If things go well, it can also be the opening of a center of intelligence sharing between Americans and Libyans.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

MIGRANTS DILEMA

Only Putin can solve the problem of Italy in Libya. Abandoned, if not derided by Europe, Italy's hands are tied by Triton program and it is doomed to "welcome" migrants. We need a step change in Libya.
"The Italian hub to Africa: political agreements to govern the phenomenon of migration, but not all." This was said yesterday by Italian Foreign Minister Alfano speaking at the first economic forum between Italy and Libya at Agrigento (Sicily-Italy).
Meanwhile, however, the fact is that Libya is the hub of migrants to Italy. An uncertain and short-sighted policy, it is explained in this interview. "Focus on Libya, on this Libya to stem the migrant emergency is a predictable failure."
As it is happening now Italy's responsibilities are identified.  The finger is pointed at the Triton operation, signed by the Renzi government. Right or wrong?
Triton allows to ships operating in the Mediterranean to conduct all migrants to Italy. The consequences are obvious. So far Europe has laid on this principle, washing consciousness with the periodic allocation of increased funds to support the mission. This is no longer enough, so I think it is essential for Italy to insist with Frontex to review the mandate of Triton so as to share in a shared migrants rescued by the various ships of foreign NGOs operating in the Mediterranean. Europe seems very cohesive in not wanting to implement radical change of pace.
In those days there was much talk of Libya, so often citing unspecified "funds" to be used for emergency management. What can tell us about?
The agreement on migrant signed on 2 February between Gentiloni Serraj contained, among other things, support equipment to the Libyan coast guard with an estimated value of about 800 million euro. Only a fraction, however, was made available. The idea of providing more funds to the "Libyan authorities" to work together in the search and rescue is not feasible in my view without prior stabilization of the political situation and the country's security. Put another way, who are those whom give this money if there is no government?
Who are the much-cited "Libyan authorities"?
Exactly. The risk would be to see our resources into the wrong hands with all the dramatic consequences that we can imagine. Focusing on Libya, on this Libya to stem the migrant emergency is a predictable failure.
It can be said that the current Libyan political framework, subject to certain developments, is the same as it is outlined in the adjustment phase of the civil war?
In some ways yes. In Libya right now is being a full-blown civil war in the interior areas of Fezzan. Here a few weeks ago near the base of the Shati Brak, controlled by militias linked to Khalifa Haftar, were killed by some Islamist militias, probably out of hand in Serraj, nearly 140 men loyal to the general. There is increasing polarization between the Libyan National Army forces Haftar and some Islamist forces in the area, as happened in 2014 when there was the "split" between Tripoli and Tobruk. This state of things will hardly bring in a new order in the country but just drifting Libya.
But if so, is it aware to Italy, especially during the EU presidency and also in 2015, to have dramatically underestimated the gravity of the situation in Libya?
In part, yes. On the one hand Italy, like other European countries, he has certainly taken lightly what was happening in Libya, on the other hand, however, was the actor who most tried to find a solution, probably late, the chaos that now It had degenerated in the country. We were especially those of us who wanted the Skhirat agreements of December 2015 for the establishment of a national agreement Serraj Government and the minister Minniti has worked extensively with the actors in Tripoli to find some solution to the problem of migration.
From the coasts of Tripoli 90 percent of migrants arriving in Italy. We are the largest oil importer and the only recipient of Libyan gas are Italian and many of the offshore mining activities carried off the capital.
What else could we do? Maybe something more and that something more might mean groped to rise to the role of "interlocutors of Tripoli" to mediate an agreement with international allies and regional Haftar.
Libya today says it all: the need to use the UNHCR camps as the basis for the rejection of economic migrants, which patrol the coasts to prevent the departures, the agreements to do with African transit countries, the need to intervene intercepting the upstream flow. They are realistic ideas?
It seems clear that at the time we rely very little on Libya. It 'must, therefore, act in another way. In the short and medium term with agreements with countries of origin and transit, where possible, such as Niger to which we have secured 50 million Euros to strengthen their borders. Europe from this point of view should engage much more in the allocation of funds. But it also serves to act in the long term.
How?
Rethinking European policy of development cooperation, which, unfortunately, from the 50s to today was totally bankrupt. However, such policies require a great economic effort and a necessary cohesion in Europe and unfortunately at the moment we lack both. If Italy will be forced to go it alone begging some alms to the reluctant European leaders the problem will never find a solution capable of holding over time.
Serraj looks increasingly weak. And so?
The problem is that Haftar does not enjoy the consensus of the Libyan population majority. There are important Islamist groups, such as the numerous militias from Misrata, who see Haftar just a smokescreen. A solution to be able to hold up over time must therefore be inclusive and involve the largest possible number of actors, even the Tripoli groups.
In concrete terms?
We can and must still assert our position in Tripoli to groped to broker a deal with the Libyan east pivoting on its international sponsors, Russia above. This, however, should be done before other actors, ahead of all France, they decide for us. If that were to happen we would have thrown away all the effort that in recent years we have put in Libya to recover the primacy position before Sarkozy and Hollande then had knowingly attempted to escape.
Haftar announced last week the capture of entire Benghazi. It will check all of Libya? But above all, it is perhaps what we have to hope for?
Haftar has widened in the territory, consolidated at Benghazi, nevralgic city of Libya. That said, I repeat that is unlikely to be control over the country. A few weeks ago was called into freedom Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, kept in check by the Zintan militias loyal to the east Libya. Perhaps the objective was to consolidate and strengthen the Eastern Front also opening to former Gadafi supporters, still present in the country. And 'soon, however, to make predictions about a possible political role in the country's future. That being the case, a strengthening of Haftar risks exacerbating the minds of Islamist groups. The most plausible scenario is that of a resurgence of fighting in the country.
As it affects the political crisis in the Persian Gulf in what is happening in Libya?
Qatar, unlike his "former friends of the Gulf," said Libyan Islamists. For this to Sisi, an ally of the secular front of Haftar, it dictated that the black list of sponsors of terrorism - drawn from Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia - there were all the enemies on the field of general including former leaders the Libyan Islamic fighting Group Abdelhakim Belhadj and defense Brigades of Tripoli. Without funding from the Qatar these actors are unlikely to last long, encouraging, therefore, the wing of Tobruk. But Turkey, historic ally of tripolini Islamists, could increase the resources, balancing the game.
In your opinion, what should we do with respect to European partners?
Continue to insist that way is a "regionalization" of the landing of migrants rescued in the Mediterranean and therefore the opening of new European ports, if necessary raising of the voice. And 'necessary to push Europe to sanction countries that have not acceded to the migrants share policy and at the same time extend same policy to new nationality.
And at the international level?
Trump seems little interested in the Libyan issue with Putin party, being a sponsor and Haftar ally. This is why Italy should communicate more with Moscow, to try an intra-Libyan agreement and groped to stem the problem of flows at the start.

INSHALLA TAMAM

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Marshal Khalifa Haftar 8.7.2017

Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the strong man of Cyrenaica, is needed more than ever as a key figure in the Libyan political and military scene. Wednesday, July 5, he proclaimed "total liberation" of the city of Benghazi, where the troops of the Army LNA were fighting "revolutionary" groups - composed of jihadists, but not exclusively - holed up in a few strongholds residual.

This battle of Benghazi started in spring 2014, when Khalifa Haftar, former close Gaddafi became exiled dissident in the US, before giving his competence in the 2011 revolution, sparked the offensive dubbed "Karama" ("Dignity") against radical Islamist groups who had engaged in a campaign of assassinations in the metropolis of eastern Libya. Three years later, the military hierarch named for Marshal of the Assembly folded in Tobruk, emerging as a clear winner, but at the cost of destruction and civilian victims denounced as "war crimes" by its opponents.
The rise of Haftar sharpens the diplomatic dilemma that Western governments face. Witness the controversy that erupted the day after the announcement of the "liberation" of Benghazi. The UN mission in Libya and the British ambassador in Libya,Peter Millett, welcomed in an almost identical language "liberation" of Benghazi as "hope" a first step towards "peace".The formula was not appreciated by opponents of Haftar marshal, mostly concentrated in Tripoli and Misrata (west). Abderrahmane Souihli figure policy Misrata  and chairman of the State Council, an institution associated with the government of "national unity" sitting in Tripoli denounced the comments of M. Millett as a "green light" given to "rogue" Haftar to "attack" Tripoli.

Irritation

This reaction is symptomatic of irritation that grips hostile environments to the marshal before the current inflections among Western diplomats. After having snubbed or worked to his ouster from the command of the ANL, they took note of its military advances over the last year - in Benghazi and the oil Ascending particular - and opted for reinstate in a solution policy of the Libyan crisis. This change of foot is especially frowned upon in Misrata, headquarters of the main military force in Tripolitania, where recruiting the most irreconcilable opponents of the marshal.
"Realism" displayed by the West, where the imperatives of the fight against terrorism have their place, however, carries the risk of weakening the agreement Skhirat (Morocco)- signed in December 2015 - from which the government of "national unity" to Faïez Sarraj. The Marshal has indeed stopped obstructing the implementation of this new institutional supposed to embody national reconciliation. If the two men met in early May in Abu Dhabi (UAE), they have so far failed to agree on a crisis scenario. Encouraged by its military advances, Haftar barely admit formally his subordination to military authority to a civil power. He is encouraged by his inflexibility support - diplomatic, military and financial - it receives from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. With its upward trajectory, he has repeatedly announced that it was preparing to "liberate" Tripoli. The aftershocks of the "liberation of Benghazi" could affect the coming weeks the Libyan capital.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

CLANDESTINES FROM LIBYA

Honey words, so many. Concrete support, no one. In essence, a gossip. So Europe's walls and hypocrisy have responded to the Italian demands for a sharing of intervention on the migrant emergency in the Mediterranean, the most ferocious and most deadly route.
Europe remains hostage to the North axis, the one that has always looked at the southern shore of the Mediterranean as a threat and never as a crucial geopolitical place of cooperation. A short-sighted Europe can not focus on events that are marking North Africa, with the common trait of instability that is becoming more and more explosive. Starting with Libya. To intervene in a failed state, with a government ridden in a naval base in Tripoli, driven by a prime minister whose authority is zero. To pretend to show the muscles, even "alone" with a naval block, in a country where there are 200,000 armed men under countless flags, more than an avant-garde choice is a huge idiocy. That would be tragic if you tried to implement it. Because Libya, apart from some terrestrial exhibitions of leather heads of various nationalities (a handful of Italians), was and remains a land of nobody, in search of the paradoxes of History, of a "new Colonel" or, if We want to update, an Erdogan model "Sultan", not so much to stabilize the unstable, but to take on the role of "Gendarme" of the central Mediterranean.

In this unmistakable puzzle, Italy tries to exercise the diplomacy of the "two cards": on the one hand, supporting the premier architect-al-Serraj without removing from the table the "card" Haftar, the strong man of Cyrenaica, Independent General who holds the Tobruk Parliament - the only internationally recognized, the one in theory favorable to Serraj - and which moves to the close dependence of its external protector: the "Pinochet of the Pyramids", President-General Abdel Fattah -Yes, yes. The Libyan version of the "Turkish model" - a police state at the service of wall and hotspot-lager - is therefore Khalifa Haftar, a former Gaddafi servant, who is now armed with a well-trained, armed army , And supported by Egypt of al-Sisi and the United Arab Emirates. Haftar while politically holding Tripoli, he focuses on his armed forces in Cirenaica, with two goals: getting rid of the Shura Council of Revolutionaries in Benghazi and liberating Derna. At the moment for the "general" fight Isis is the last of the problems. In the first place, there is the hated Serraj.

"It does not spring off Haftar," notes Angelo Del Boca, the most authoritative historian of Italian colonialism in North Africa - because he is well aware that if he recognizes the authority of the new "premier," he will never be the leader of the new Libya Aspirated to become. "

Other than stabilization: Libya is everybody's war against everyone. The Islamist militias of Tripoli and Misurata, who enjoy the support of the desert berbers, against those of Zintan allies of Haftar. The same strong man of Cirenaica begins to lose pieces. As for the "unifying" premier, it is difficult to see him in these ways when even in the capital of his government, Tripoli, hostile militias and war against one another control entire neighborhoods and even the airport. Insecurity reigns supreme. In my opinion, not only are the many lords of the war in the field, but the long queues in Tripoli in front of the banks: the cash is scarce, the change of the dinar is in free fall. And as it is not enough, in addition to the two rival governments in eastern and western Libya there are also two central banks. No illusion of constructing, on the debris of the wicked war of 2011, a state of law, when it is already a business to imagine Libya of the future can still be a semblance of a unified state, as powerful regional actors work hard for the Tripartite territory with the constitutions of three protectors: Tripolitania, Cirenaica, Fezzan.

On the jihadist side, the most fearsome pitfalls come from the Qaedists of Ansar Al Sharia - which can count on at least 5,000 militants, deployed between Benghazi and the Islamic State. Around Hon, the chief town of the district of Giofra between Sirte and Sebha, some training camps were created to accommodate and train fighters from Sahel and Senegal and Boko Haram men who are making a decisive boost to Isis's staff in Libya. Moreover, one of the main goals of al-Baghdadi in Libya is precisely this: to increase the troop and to enlist new fighters. Raising in Central-South Libya allows Isis to penetrate illegal smuggling and trafficking channels and exploit them by accessing new resources. Exactly what happened in "Siraq". Today, the strength of the Islamic state in Libya can be estimated at about 8,000.

By Arnaldo Guidotti  30.6.2017

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

LIBYA PICTURE 28.6.2017

A power outage that propagates over 1500 km in one of the most dangerous areas of the planet can be caused by a police action to catch fuel thieves? Usually not, but in Libya every action can cause unimaginable consequences.
In January, the National Oil Company - the state company that controls the Libyan oil - has accused the mercenary militia which guarantees the safety of the refinery in Zawiya to steal fuel and sell it on the blackmarket.Zawiya, 30 km west of Tripoli, is a hub of strategic importance along with the nearby Mellitah because there converge all pipelines and gas pipelines connected with the oil fields and gas of Tripolitania and Fezzan. From there the oil takes off on oil tankers and the gas plunges along the pipeline Greenstream (operated at 75% Eni, 25% owned by NOC) across the Mediterranean to get to the surface in Gela.
In retaliation, the militia has shut down the power plant adjacent doing almost completely skip the electrical grid and causing the largest blackout Libya who has lived for the past six years.The message was clear: if the mercenary militias they see a threat to their source of illegal income, do not hesitate to unleash retaliation and neither the NOC nor the UN-backed government can help it.
When analysts seek to identify the causes of the endless vicious cycle of instability crisis-war-truce afflicting Libya, often focus on political processes and neglect the main driver of this cycle: an oil-driven economy.This represents the greatest obstacle to exit the loop to achieve a stable peace guaranteed by a recognized government.
The chain of events that led to the blackout record before we were talking about is just an example of complex network of tribes, factions and interests which holds together - but at the same time dries up - the country's resources. An example that demonstrates the weakness of institutions, both political and economic; but also full control that each militia or tribe holds within its territory.
It is clear that the weakness of the country has consequences outside: in this no man's land terrorist organizations thrive and can count on huge territories within which hide and train themselves. But they can easily maintain and accumulate fortunes with the desperate trade towards Italy, with smuggling of oil and weapons.
To effectively help the country, we need to understand the origins of chronic crisis of authority afflicting Libya and - in particular - need to understand the economy of oil-driven war that feeds instability.
To effectively help the country, we need to understand the origins of chronic crisis of authority afflicting Libya and - in particular - need to understand the economy of oil-driven war that feeds instability
The constant competition among the many rival factions has seriously eroded the very credibility of state institutions. Neither of the two main antagonists governments can demonstrate the authority of a popular mandate nor offer real state services.The National Government Agreement (GNA) has the support of the UN and much of the international community, but was not elected or ratified by the House of Representatives, elected in 2014 and based in Tobruk. Therefore, the Libyan judiciary has not recognized the GNA. Meanwhile, the mandate of the House of Representatives - backed by Egypt and the UAE - has expired. The House itself has voted for the mandate to self validate itself obviously arousing the GNA wrath. But who holds the real power are not the two rival governments, but the National Oil Company (which controls wells and refineries, and thus the wealth of the country), the Central Bank of Libya (which controls the treasure) and LIA (Libyan Investment Authority) which owns 50 or 60 billion € in foreign countries.
The first two of these three organizations have resisted assimilation attempts by the two governments and the division into two parts keeping a balance between both sides. The NOC is now at loggerheads with the GNA which seeks to divest by the monopoly of hydrocarbons.
The Central Bank of Libya, meanwhile, is still able to discharge its functions paying public sector wages and providing energy subsidies, but it is at odds with the GNA on how to counter inflation and the growing chasm that has formed between Official exchange rate of the Libyan dinar against the dollar and the existing one on the black market.
Instead, LIA faces a vertical fracture caused by the two antagonistic leaders: Abdulmajid Breish and Ali Mahmoud Hassan.
On February 5, Breish entered in the Tripoli office with a court ruling annulling the mandate conferred by GNA to Hassan.
On May 8, Hassan is back in the building with a GNA confirmation and he was finally chased away again on the 24th of the same month by an appellate ruling of Libyan Supreme Court, which annulled the confirmation. In recent weeks the situation has worsened and is now the militia that controls access to decide which of the two opposing factions can enter the building.
In this vacuum of power, who can snatch what they find. Armed groups have occupied the oil infrastructure and formally became militias paid to protect themselves. And do not go for the thin: last year the gang led by Ibrahim Jadhran has secured $ 42 million from GNA to cancel the oil boycott between Sirte and Benghazi. On 23 April this year Sadiq el-Kebir, the governor of the Central Bank, estimated that boycotts by militias had caused losses of more than 160 million $.
But in addition to protecting mafia-style there are other techniques to strip the flesh off what remains of the country: at the beginning of this year the National Prosecutor has estimated that theft and smuggling of fuel have caused overall losses of 3.5 billion dollars.
The classical technique consists in the theft of fuel, in its subsequent smuggling in neighboring nations and, from here, in its access to the network of official channels.But now, in the total inability of the NOC to control the flow of crude oil and fuels, are in place more sophisticated techniques to transferring hydrocarbons directly from the refineries to the European market without any administrative interference.
Of course, even the smuggling proceeds of hydrocarbons are subject to extortion, corruptions and concussions.There increasing divergence between the official exchange rate (one $ should be equivalent to 1.4 LD, but today on the black market it takes 8.2 dinars to buy a $) allowed massive gains to those who are able to have currency foreign official rate and then sell it on the blackmarket. And this, of course, increases the inflationary spiral same multiplying the gains of traffickers and bringing down the purchasing power of citizens.
With the use of false letters of guarantee credit, the bands are enriched by exploiting opportunities arbitrage  between the official exchange rate and the realone.The technique adopted plans to credit by the Central Bank of the letters issued to guarantee the payment of goods in $, but are systematically traded fewer goods than those agreed and $ received in excess of the official exchange rate to end up on the black market or out of the country. And not talking about small change: according to a UN report only Haithem al-Tajouri, the head of one of these militias, extorted the Central Bank letters of credit for twenty million dollars.
Liquidity crisis, galloping inflation and inability of the state to provide goods and services to citizens are the ideal elements for the development of smuggling. All goods are imported illegally and sold on the black market
but extortion arecommonplace.The militias kidnap bankers or more bank customers when they do not directly to be open and to clean up the coffers. This causes the flight of investors, but also a liquidity crisis leading to print more money and make flying inflation which is now estimated to be between 30 and 40%. The system can not last long in a nation where most citizens receive salaries or subsidies from the state and that all matter but only oil exports.
Liquidity crisis, galloping inflation and inability of the state to provide goods and services to citizens are the ideal elements for the development ofsmuggling.All goods are imported illegally and sold on the black market. The most profitable commodity it is human flesh, operated by criminal networks offer the desperate chance to escape to Europe to substantial price of all remaining assets held.
Traffickers must in turn pay the militias transit rights on their territory (2 to $ 25 each) and the latter shall directly to strip immigrants of assets that still carry.Calculating that only in 2016 were registered 181,000 sailings to Europe, Global Initiative estimates a business that fluctuates between 275 and 350 million $.
In conclusion, the Libyan war is draining the economy still present resources of the institutions for the benefit of individual gangs and militias that reinvest the money subtracted paying new militiamen and buying newweapons.It 'clear that the same gangs and militias that proliferate in this power vacuum hinder by all means any attempt to unify the state and alternately allied with the two contenders the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and the army of General Khalifa Haftar in order to keep the two antagonists as possible in balance.
A way out has been proposed by Mahmoud Jibril,who headed the National Council for the Libyan Transition. Jibril is convinced that the only way out steps in a general amnesty for all the gang leaders and militia, tax exemptions and also of land offered to militants to force them to keep their budget within the nation itself. But not necessarily a cure, albeit drastic, may work for one patient moribund as the Libyan state.

Saturday, June 25 a new piece was added to the design of General Khalifa Haftar to gain complete control of eastern Libya with almost total occupation of the city of Benghazi. The troops of the Libyan National Army under his command, after three years of hard struggle have conquered the neighborhood of Souq Al Hout, one of the last positions held by the Benghazi Defense Brigade,an Islamist militia that, with the financial support of Qatar, was successful in 2014 to take control of the city from which he had started the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi's dictatorship in 2011.
The defeat of the Islamists of Benghazi is probably no stranger to the total blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and Egypt to the Emirate of Qatar, accused not only of supporting Islamist terrorism and extremists of the Muslim Brotherhood in North Africa and the Middle East, but also to entertain ambiguous cooperative relations with the Shiite regime of the Iranian ayatollahs.
For two weeks, ever since the blockade was imposed in Doha, all the clandestine funding streams and logistical support to militias in Libya, Syria and Iraq are fighting for the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate broke down. The loss of Benghazi is one of the first and most obvious consequences of this, given that the general is Egypt's privileged ally of President Al Sisi, one of the main regional players in the war on Islam Salafi and one of the instigators diplomatic-offensive trade Partnership against Qatar.
While Haftar consolidates its control over the region, in the name and on behalf of the House of Representatives of Tobruk, the parliament of Cyrenaica is determined not to be regarded as legitimate government in the Tripoli from Fayez Serraj. In this impasse, the United Nations has decided to appoint a new special envoy in the country, in an attempt to give new impetus to the reunification process of the factions that continue a civil war of "low intensity" to take complete control of Libya.
Another new UN envoy, Salame replaces Kobler
On June 20, the UN Security Council appointed former Lebanese minister of culture, Ghassan Salame, new special envoy for Libya, replacing the German Martin Kobler. Kobler had been in office for two years, since he had been called to take over the spagnolo Bernardino Leon who had distinguished himself in the negative, for its total failure to address in a coherent and rational the chaotic situation in which Libya was precipitated after the bloody ouster of Gaddafi.
In an effort to make a positive change to the situation in Libya, in December of 2015 Kobler had staked everything on the formation of a "National Accord Government" directed by Fayez Serraj under UN supervision. The experiment failed: the solution imposed from above by the UN was not accepted by the vast majority of the field and Serraj forces landed in Tripoli in March 2016, it is not even able to take full control of the capital, where his authority is routinely questioned by militias of Libyan Alba,the Islamist faction under the command of "premier" of Tripolitania, Khalifa Gwell.
Serraj, in an attempt to reassert his authority, on June 22 appointed military commanders of two of the three areas in which the country was divided. The General Osama al Jawili command the western, while his colleague Mohammed Al Hadad will go the the central command. No general was appointed commander instead dell'aera East, where that law only the Libyan National Army Haftar.
It is, however, purely theoretical commands, because Al Serraj does not have sufficient forces to eliminate Islamist militias, tribal forces and LNA or political authority to bring these aggressive military formations under its control.
The role of the son of Gaddafi
The situation of the "National Accord Government" Tripoli has become even more precarious after his release from prison where he was held since 2011 by one of the sons of the dictator Gaddafi, Saif Al Islam. The son of the colonel was under the control of a Zintan militia, area theoretically under the jurisdiction of Al Serraj government, and was released on June 11 following an amnesty decreed by the House of Representatives of Tobruk, the parliament of Cyrenaica which so far has refused to recognize the government imposed by the UN.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi still enjoys the support of the Tuareg tribes have always been faithful to his father's family, and may therefore induce them to line up alongside Al Khalifa Haftar making further tipping the balance of power in favor of the general Tobruk.
Now that Martin Kobler, German and pragmatic, has been replaced by Ghassan Salame - a former Lebanese minister coming from a country multi-denominational and torn by decades of internal tensions on ethnic and religious basis, should have experience and know how sufficient to adequately address the Libyan quagmire - it opens perhaps the last chance for the international community to resolve the Libyan crisis, before having to surrender before the disappearance of a unified Libya and its final breakdown in its three components historical, Fezzan, Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, ie the ancient Wilayat of the Ottoman Empire.