French Collaboration with UAE and Egypt in Eastern Libya Weakens UN-Backed Government in Tripoli

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

Intelligence Online, a publication that analyzes intelligence agencies around the world, published a document on July 27th saying that the UAE was endorsing French operations in eastern Libya.

A UAE news site reported a meetings between UAE and French officials which was coordinated by Arif Al-Nayed, the Libyan ambassador to the UAE.

The document outlined that France was leading the foreign intervention in eastern Libya, however, other countries like Britain, the US and the UAE are also involved.

The UAE has been backing French operations in eastern Libya financially and has also managed to get Egypt to support the French in their mission.

Officials in Zintan are reported to be benefiting from this coalition of foreign countries who have been giving money  to key figures and military leaders in Zintan for a number of years.

“The most prominent figure and the head of various militias in Zintan, whom the French have been working with is Othman Mlegta, the commander of Al-Qa’qaa brigade, one of the largest armed militias, consisting mainly of Zintani locals, who worked previously in several public positions with no professional military experience,” described the report.

Mlegta, who is a relative of a senior figure in the National Forces Alliance (NFA) led by Mahmoud Jibril, also said that his brigade is Libya’s biggest security force and it was the only one to be assigned by the National Transitional Council to protect civilian neighbourhoods.

There are also allegations that Mlegta tortured Suleiman Zubi, a member of the General National Council for Benghazi.

Mlegta and his forces have been at odds with Libya’s central government over many issues, in particular the issue of transferring Saif Gaddafi to the government so he can have his day in court.

He has also confessed that his forces are receiving support from businessmen and foreign countries.

The report dispels any claims that the UAE has not been interfering in Libyan politics. It confirms the collaboration of the UAE and Egyptian governments with General Khalifa Haftar and his infamous operation dubbed Operation Dignity, intended to take control of Benghazi from militia’s controlling the GNC.  

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