The Address | Benghazi – Libya
BENGHAZI – Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, General Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), attended on Saturday the opening session of the Libyan Youth Forum which took place at LNA headquarters in Ar Rajma, 27 km east of Benghazi.
During his speech, Field Marshal Haftar said that there may be a new government during the few weeks. He said he will present this new government with all the remarks of the Libyan youth who took part at the Forum.
“Libya has been plagued by great problems because of attacks by terrorist groups, which decided to choose Libya because its people are few in number and it’s the smallest country in the region in terms of population,” he said.
“Although the potentials in this country, whether the ones buried under the dust or over it, is enough for all of Africa, yet the Libyan people, as they say, are poor people in a rich state; and this is a tragedy,” he added.
Field Marshal Haftar also commended the role which Libyan youth played in stabilizing the country.
The General Commander said that LNA’s Operation Dignity (Al-Karamah), which was launched in 2014 to combat terrorism, “would not have achieved a single victory” without its dependence on young people from the first day of its launch to this day.
“During the course of Operation Dignity and despite our refusal,” he said, “young people were making strikes and advances before even being militarily qualified. They insisted on fighting in Benghazi particularly.”
“I do not differentiate between the regions in Libya, but we have to remember everything as it is,” he said before explaining, “The youth of Benghazi were rushing without hesitation towards fighting, which prompted us to quickly establish training centers. We found that they have a quick grasp of the materials that are given, which need weeks and months to absorb in a few days.”
Field Marshal Haftar commended Benghazi’s youth enthusiasm and said that those who cannot defend their country’s borders cannot defend their city; and those who cannot defend their city cannot defend their home.
He pointed out that “terrorists began in Benghazi by slaughtering people and shooting them.” They started with the army, the police, the public prosecution, judges and then journalists, he said.
“They did not distinguish between an old person or a young person, or between a woman or an elderly person; all in the aim of terrorizing people.” He said.
“We want to see the role of young people, which we saw rising during the war, to take the lead in all stages of peace, state-building and making the future,” he said.
“Young people have paid a heavy price in the war on terror and offered their souls and blood for the benefit of Libya and its people. Young people must have the opportunity to continue their journey.” He added.
“The years of misery that had past were hard on all Libyans, but young people mostly paid the price,” he said before adding, “but this is the tax of dignity and freedom; and it must fruitfully result in a safe, stable and prosperous life”.
“Just as we won the battle of war with young people, we will win the battle of building with young people.” He said.
“We have to prepare for the battle of building, which is a fierce battle, not a simple one; and the youth are its soldiers.” the General Commander said.
“We have to strengthen our knowledge, our cognitive qualification and our will to build the future. The Libyans must enjoy all their potentials to live on equal terms with pride and dignity.”
Field Marshal Haftar said that “governments that do not pay attention to young people, that do not give them the care they deserve and do not provide them with facilities are governments working on the destruction of the homeland and must be removed.”
He pointed out the Libyan National Army has opened the doors for young people to join at various levels and at all military fields.
“The result was successive batches of graduates by the thousands from military colleges and training centers. They are the pride of the army, which have fulfilled its duty and never lost a battle.” he said.
Field Marshal Haftar insisted that scholarships abroad for young people must never stop; and that the rest of state sectors should follow the example of LNA in relying on the youth.
“The state is built by the youth and so is the future. The army protects the homeland with the youth.” He concluded.