Head of international think tank calls for Haftar’s dismissal

Head of international think tank calls for Haftar’s dismissal

November 16, 2018 - 20:48
Posted in:
Written By: AbdullahBenIbrahim

Noman Ben Othman has become one of the dissenters from Khalifa Haftar’s camp

Noman Ben Othman

The President of Quilliam Foundation, a London-based think tank, has urged Speaker of House of Representatives (HoR) Aqailah Saleh to immediately sack warlord Khalifa Haftar from his “General Commander” position and to replace him with Abdul-Razaq Nadouri, Chief of Staff of HoR forces.

In a string of tweets, Noman Ben Othman called for “the salvation of Cyrene from the adventures of Wadi Doum”, an apparent reference to the battle which Libyan forces staged against Chadian forces in Wadi Doum in 1987. Around 1269 Libyan soldiers were killed and 438 others taken as war prisoners including Khalifa Haftar who commanded the battle.

Ben Othman described Haftar’s rejection to recognize Aqailah Saleh as “the Supreme Commander of the Libyan Army” as “rebellion.”

In a video posted by his own TV channel Libya Alhadat, Khalifa Haftar told Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Presidential Council Chairman Fayez Sarraj, presidents of Tunisia and Egypt, and representatives of Russia, France and EU to the Palermo Conference that the post of “Supreme Commander of the Libyan Army” - Aqailah Saleh - should only be granted to an elected president of the country and that it should currently be passed to the “the General Commander” - Haftar - until elections are held.

“Rajma camp – Haftar’s HQ – is acting now without legitimacy or supervision from control authorities, thus, from now on, Haftar has become an outlaw rebel.” Ben Othman tweeted.

“After the rebellion against all legitimate and political authorities and all civil institutions in the country, the stances of Egypt and the UAE will become very embarrassing if they continue to support the rebel, which could slide the country into a civil war and thus chaos in which terrorism prevails.” He said.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Haftar’s self-styled army Ahmed Al-Mismari said Khalifa Haftar is going to remain in his post as "General Commander of the Libyan army" till elections.

The post of “General Commander” was created by the House of Representatives to please the warlord after he was referred to retirement by the General National Congress (GNC). To further please him, the HoR also cancelled the Isolation Law, which was passed by the GNC, in order to allow Haftar to lead their army.

But Haftar was ungrateful. He turned on the House of Representatives and injected his staunch supporters inside the parliament to control sessions. Many MPs had spoken out against the harsh treatment they received from Haftar’s guards while others complained of lengthy hours waiting at the door of Haftar’s office just for a few-minute meeting.

In May 2017, the Speaker of House of Representatives Aqailah Saleh was humiliated by Haftar’s guards after he and his escorts were denied access to a military celebration in order not to steal the show and camera zoom-ins from Haftar.