The Address | Benghazi – Libya
PARIS – France’s Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, pointed out in his daily press briefing on Tuesday the results achieved by the Libyan National Army (LNA) through its recent operation in the southern region, in terms of combating terrorism and human trafficking.
The Libyan National Army (LNA), led by its General Commander, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, launched its military operation in the south a few weeks ago, at the request of southern residents, to liberate the region from Chadian armed gangs and militias affiliated with ISIS.
“Recent operations by the Libyan National Army made it possible to eliminate major terrorist targets,” said Le Drian.
Less than a week after its launch, three prominent commanders of the terrorist group ISIS were killed during LNA’s operation; Abdel Moneim Al-Hasnawi, known as Abu Talha, Mahdi Dengu, and the Egyptian terrorist Abdullah Al-Desouki.
Security situation in Libya’s southern region began to recover as Chadian armed gangs and ISIS militia retreat following its heavy losses. Sabh’s Security Directorate resumed its work for the first time in five years and living conditions for southern residents began to improve.
The French diplomat also implied that LNA’s operation could put an end to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean by disrupting the activities of human traffickers who abuse migrants seeking to reach Europe.
“[LNA’s operation] could disrupt, on a long-term basis, the activities of the human traffickers who are continuing to plague this region, between the Sahel and the Mediterranean.”
Le Drian also stated that LNA’s operation could put an end to oil-smuggling and prevent the abuse of Libya’s national resources by non-state actors.
“These operations also included oil fields. In this respect, France reaffirms that oil is a national resource, the exploitation of which must benefit all Libyans and remain the monopoly of the National Oil Corporation based in Tripoli.”
Le Drian concluded by affirming his country’s support for Libya’s sovereignty and the unification of state institutions. He also affirmed that France “supports all Libyan forces fighting against terrorism.”
“France is attached to the unity, sovereignty and independence of Libya. It supports all Libyan forces fighting against terrorism. It reaffirms that the goal is the unification of the country’s political, economic and security institutions under the authority of a civilian government, legitimized by elections. This is what the Libyan people want, and it is what UN Special Representative Ghassan Salamé is working toward, with our full support.”