Middle East, Africa

Why did Libya's Haftar not sign cease-fire deal?

Renegade general left Moscow without signing cease-fire deal for numerous reasons

Mustafa Dale   | 14.01.2020
Why did Libya's Haftar not sign cease-fire deal?

TRIPOLI, Libya

Libya's renegade Gen. Khalifa Haftar was unable to control his militias despite preliminary approval to abide by the cease-fire which started on Sunday.
The ninth brigade of Tarhuna was particularly uncontrollable and behind most of Haftar's breaches. 

Observers say the commanders of this brigade, who were former fighters of late leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime, were the reason why Haftar did not sign the cease-fire agreement with the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli.

Pro-Haftar social media accounts expressed refusal to sign the cease-fire which would force them to withdraw from the locations they have captured during their recent offensive which started last April.

As part of the cease-fire, they would have to withdraw from Tarhuna city, 90 kilometers (56 miles) from Tripoli, and many of Haftar's commanders are from the city.

Some local media sources said that if Haftar signs the cease-fire, a split will appear in his forces, revealing to international forces his weakening powers.

In addition, Haftar will not accept Turkey observing the cease-fire. So far, he has demanded the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Libya and to freeze the maritime agreement between the GNA and Turkey.

Some pro-Haftar social media accounts said that the cease-fire will be signed if the Presidential Council in Tripoli is dissolved.

Walid Ertema, a political analyst, accused the United Arab Emirates of influencing Haftar's decision. He said in a televised interview with Al Jazeera that the UAE chargé d'affaires in Moscow was in contact with Haftar during his stay in Moscow.

Since the ouster of Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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