Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Ex-Minister of Information: There Should be International Will to Disband Libya’s Militias | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Chief of Libya’s U.N.-backed government Fayez al-Sarraj

Cairo-Omar Al-Guweri, minister of information and culture in the former Libyan regime, has warned of the danger of sleeper terrorist cells across the country.

Concerning the spread of the armed militias following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, he said that their disbandment needs an international will.

During an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, the former minister, who belongs to one of the biggest families of Misrata, said that the pledges made by the international community to protect the presidential council chaired by Fayez al-Sarraj have vanished. He also expected al-Sarraj to resign.

Guweri said that the presidential council was stillbirth immediately after the inking of the “political agreement” known as “Skhirat Agreement,” noting that the Muslim Brotherhood has taken advantage and imposed its agenda on the dialogue, the presidential council, and the government.

Here are the most important issues tackled in the interview:

*How do you see the presidential council of Sarraj’s government?

– The presidential council was stillbirth, and we have said it from the first moments that followed the inking of the political agreement (at the end of 2015 under the sponsorship of the United Nations). The Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist group with no intentions of reform or reconciliation. The group has imposed its agenda on the dialogue and the government, and succeeded in stealing legitimacy to serve its own interest.

* How do you see ISIS’ combat in Sirt? Most of the operation’s fighters are from Misrata. What do you think about it?

The youth who are fighting in Sirt are from the people and have no ideological belongings other than the revolution of February 17, 2011. I constantly communicate with them. They will terminate the battle and will beat ISIS despite the big number of martyrs and victims. Yet, I am concerned about Sirt’s future and who will control it.

*Does Libya need a new political agreement that includes all the parties amidst the presence of three governments?

Libya needs an inclusive agreement that will help end the crisis, and not just a political one. The absent party from the dialogue is the supporters of the former regime, which should be involved in the dialogue and the government.

*Some think that the dependency of the presidential council on a number of militias to protect it was a huge mistake. What do you think about this? And how do you see the future of militias in different cities?

The presidential council had nothing to give, and the promises of the international community have vanished. Sarraj was left alone and he will resign soon. The disbandment of militias needs an international will and the support of the national army.

*How do you see the involvement of international parties in the Libyan crisis, particularly the U.N.?

– The United Nations can do nothing other than appointing a Special Envoy who can be an intermediary between the conflict’s different parties. Yet, the decisive action should be taken by the U.S., which currently is not really concerned with the Libyan case. I don’t expect any remarkable steps after the presidential elections.