libyan army

The former Minister of Defense, Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Barghathi, ruled out the formation of the joint military force any time soon, telling Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that with the escalation of political disputes over power in recent months, and then over oil and the distribution of its revenues, most politicians became increasingly convinced of the extent of the repercussions of the outstanding differences among current leaders, especially the Chief of the General Staff of the Libyan Army and his counterpart who is affiliated with Khalifa Haftar, who is now clearly appearing to be sharing power with Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.

Al-Barghathi talked about the difficulty of extracting the memory of the battles that took place between the two sides a few years ago: especially what is known as the "Capital War" from April 2019 to early June 2020. He said that those painful events were still stuck in the minds of Libyans because of the deaths and injuries that occurred, adding that they cast a shadow on the possibility of building bridges of trust between the two sides.

He also explained that the formation of any joint military force would face the same challenges referred to when talking about the unification of the military institution, pointing to the indecisiveness of the identity of the military leadership, and the difficulty of subordinating regular leaders with a long history of military service whether in Benghazi, Fezzan or Tripoli, to the command of younger or below-ranking leaders who did not have any military education but were pushed to high ranks on both sides. 

Al-Barghathi said that the pressure of some international and regional powers to form this joint military force was what prevented those regular Libyan leaders from declaring and acknowledging that the effort to establish such a force at the present time, even if it wasn't impossible, required more effort and time.

Several meetings have taken place recently between the Chief of Staff of Haftar's forces, Abdelrazik Al-Nathori and the Chief of Staff of the Libyan Army, Mohammed Al-Haddad, in an attempt to form a "joint military force", but those leaders have not been able to decide - so far -  the date for forming this force, which raises questions about the obstacles.