UN Call for Regional Armies Abandoned at Tunis Meetings

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)


Martin Kobler, the UN special envoy to Libya, has been calling for the formation of three regional Libyan armies, one for the western region, one for eastern region and one for the southern region. Meanwhile Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj has been calling on his people to unify and stand together to defend Libya from the military threats that pose a risk to its safety and prosperity.

The conflicting messages prior to the Tunis meetings suggested that the UN is looking after its own interest when it called for regional armies within Libya instead of a central and unified one. Regional armies would give each region recognition and authority, which is what each region has demanded. However, it also gives them the power and authority to turn on each other. With the growing tensions in Libya between different regions, encouraging the idea of regional armies would be counterproductive in achieving national unity in Libya.

However, during talks hosted by the UN in Tunis Kobler joined Al-Sarraj’s call for a unified army.

Kobler said that the purpose of the meetings was to discuss the formation of a unified army “under the command of the presidential council.”

Prime Minister Al-Sarraj spoke with media after the meetings that discussed the prospects of developing a unified Libyan army.

Al-Sarraj called on his people saying, “We call again on all the children of the country who have not yet joined us to place the nation’s interests before any other consideration.”

After the meetings Kobler said, “all Libya’s problems today are tied up to the security issue.”

“Libya cannot be united,” Kobler adds “as long as it has several armies.”

Kobler also mentioned his weekly attempts to meet with General Khalifa Haftar “to understand his position.”

On Monday and Tuesday talks with the GNA and “influential security parties” in Libya will take place to discuss the formation of a unified Libyan army. The specific parties were not shared.

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