Libyan Army under GNA won't negotiate while mercenaries remain in Sirte
The spokesman for the Libyan Army under the command of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Mohammed Gununu warned in a statement Thursday the UNSMIL that the GNA wouldn’t accept negotiations under the presence of the foreign mercenaries and their anti-aircraft systems in Sirte.
Addressing the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Gununu said the meetings of the joint military commission of 10 “are not helping the consolidation of the permanent ceasefire agreement”, wondering why the GNA delegation’s plane wasn’t allowed to land in Sirte, which has two airports, but rather the plane landed 170 km to the east of Sirte - Sidra oil port, referring to the fact that Sirte airports and nearby Jufra airbase are occupied by Russian Wagner Group mercenaries.
“The military movement around Sirte and Jufra don’t point to the agreed-upon withdrawal of military forces and mercenaries. The UNSMIL knows this very well. We can’t say what is happening in Sirte is a step forward, rather it is a step in the air or even a step backward.” Gununu remarked.
He also asked the UNSMIL to clarify why pro-Haftar supporters (referring to Ahmed Major General Al-Dresi) who are not members of commission of 10 are managing the meetings of the joint military commission, reiterating the GNA’s rejection to Haftar’s involvement in person or by representatives in the ongoing negotiations.
Ahmed Al-Dresi, who is a close supporter of Haftar, took part in the reception of the 5+5 military commission delegations and attended their first session in Sirte amid reservations for his presence in there.
The spokesman of the Libyan Army said if the track of negotiations in Sirte wasn’t amended and corrected, they fear the negotiations wouldn’t succeed at last, adding that the GNA wouldn’t be happy to see UNSMIL and Haftar followers’ behavior in Sirte be the reason behind the failure of the joint military commission talks and peaceful solution.