Macron plays Libyan tribal chief

French-president has revived an old plan to unite representatives of the Libyan-tribes in Tunis

French President Emmanuel Macron (C) tries on a fez as he tours the Medina (old town) of the Tunisian capital Tunis on February 1, 2018, during his first state visit to the North African country. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Eric FEFERBERG

Macron plays Libyan tribal chief

August 30, 2018 (Maghreb Confidential) – Seeing that his plans to organise elections in Libya before the end of the year have got bogged down, French president Emmanuel Macron has revived an old plan to unite representatives of the Libyan tribes in Tunis.

Macron, who initially wanted to gather representatives of the southern tribes (Toubous, Ould Slimanes and Tuaregs), now wants to open the meeting to all the tribes.

He hopes in this way to short-circuit Italy, whose prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced on July 30 that he planned to a organise a grand meeting on the Libyan crisis in Rome in November with the support of Donald Trump.

This meeting is intended to be a response to the Libyan summit organised by France on May 29, which infuriated the Italian government. It was at this summit that the December 2018 date was set for the elections, a proposal severely criticized by Conte.

France abandons Haftar in oil crescent

July 05, 2018 (Maghreb Confidential) – Khalifa Haftar’s decision to hand over control of the oil crescent to the eastern Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC), as announced on June 25, seems to have surprised some of his closest allies.

France is still furious over the decision made by the head of the “Libyan National Army” (LNA), which it sees as undermining the peace plan put together by President Emmanuel Macron which provided for elections to be held before the end of the year.

The plan was approved on May 29 in Paris by both Haftar and government of national accord head Fayez Sarraj.

But the exclusion of the “official” NOC headed by Mustafa Sanalla from operation of the oil installations in Sidra and Ras Lanouf amounts to a virtual declaration of war on the government in Tripoli, which will thus find itself without the oil revenues banked with the Central Bank of Libya (CBL, MC 1299).

Yet France backed Haftar’s operation to recapture the oil crescent from Ibrahim Al Jadhran by sending an intelligence aircraft operated by CAE Aviation on behalf of its DGSE external intelligence service (MC 1297). According to our information, however, the aircraft returned to France, on July 1.

Haftar brings his family to see Macron

May 31, 2018 (Maghreb Confidential) – It was with his family that Khalifa Haftar travelled to the Libyan summit organized by French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris on May 29! The Libyan National Army (LNA) commander was accompanied by at least three members of his clan.

Two of his sons made the journey: Saddam Haftar, a captain in the LNA who was also with him at last year’s summit in La Celle Saint-Cloud and Belkacem Haftar, who is thought to be playing an increasing role in relations between his father and France.

Haftar’s private secretary, Bassem Bouaichi, also in the party, is one of Haftar’s sons-in-law and a member like him of the Ferjani tribe. Political adviser Fadhel El Dib, who was also in Paris, is not a family member. Haftar, who has strong French support, reluctantly approved a proposal to hold elections in December 2018 but gave no firm commitment.

Neither did prime minister Fayez Sarraj, Tobruk House of Representatives president Aguila Salah Issa or Council of State chairman Khaled al Mishri. Haftar is still refusing to submit to a non-elected civil authority, which includes Sarraj.

Description of source: Since 1990, Maghreb Confidential decrypts political influence networks and business activities in Northern Africa countries. Country of origin: France
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