The Address | Benghazi – Libya
BENGHAZI – Mohamed Buisier, a former political adviser to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has considered the refusal of Tripoli-based premier Fayez Al-Sarraj to negotiate with Field Marshal Haftar to be an “unpractical choice” as long as the latter is close to Tripoli and in control of the country’s oilfields.
In a post via his Facebook page, Buisier said that refusing to negotiate with Field Marshal Haftar must be backed by developments on the ground, that is, “removing Haftar from Tripoli and also removing him from the area of oil production and export”.
Buisier used to be one of the strongest supporters of the Libyan National Army (LNA). He reportedly changed his course after Field Marshal Haftar turned down his request to work as LNA’s consultant in Washington for nearly half a million dollars. Buisier denied those reports, claiming his dissidence was over “Haftar’s desire to establish a strict totalitarian military rule”.
Stressing the need for attacking oilfields controlled by LNA, Buisier said “if that is not achieved, Haftar will not only be on the negotiation table, but he will be on its most important seats.”
The adviser-turned-adversary said that Libya, in the eyes of the world, is those areas of oil production and export. He added that the world sees Tripoli as the place where organization that manages the oil operations is located as well as the bank where the export funds are deposited.
In a similar context, the United States-based researcher Hafed Al-Ghwell has called on Al-Sarraj’s government to open new battle fronts against LNA “especially in the sites of oil and gas”.
“The only strategic thing that the Government of [National] Accord must do in the coming days is to win over the forces and militias of Haftar on the ground by any means possible and with the support of any party,” Al-Ghwell wrote on Facebook before deleting the post later.
He said that GNA must force Field Marshal Haftar to retreat by “opening other fronts against him, especially in the sites of oil and gas. If they can do that, everything will change inside Libya and so all foreign positions too”.
Al-Ghwell has a long history of endorsing violence against individuals and institutions. In November 2017, he sparked controversy after calling for the execution, displacement and imprisonment of more than a thousand public figures, including members of the National Transitional Council, the General National Congress, the House of Representatives, the High Council of State, members of governments and ambassadors.