Provocative statements by new Libyan Army Chief of Staff, Khalifa Haftar : Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia are hostile countries that have ambitions into Libyan wealth
Laaska news Nov. 29,2011
“Our neighbours are poor and need Libya’s oil and gas reserves and we need a strong army to deter greedy ambitions in neighbouring countries“
The TV statements of Mr; Haftar caused discontent among Tunisians and Algerians living in Tunisia. Mr. Haftar said he (as an army chief) must find the strength in his army to face those who perceives Libya as an inferior nation.
Those who see Libya inferior are neighbouring hostile countries including Tunisia, Egypt, Mali, Algeria and Chad, because they are poor countries and want to take benefit from Libya’s wealth, “We have to consider Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Mali and Chad, our enemies, because they are poor and in need of our wealth including oil and gas,” literally said Haftar on TV. He further added that his group of fighters “Must build an army to protect Libya from its enemies.”
Some Libyan hostile statements, especially towards Algeria have been followed with decisions in Tripoli to impose visas on Algerians and a number of Arab countries citizens including Egyptians, Syrians, Moroccans and others Arab nationalities. In addition, some calls inside Libya also are pushing to expel Algerian nationals from Libya. Algerians living in Libya and because of historical favourable immigration conditions do not have visas or permanent residence documents and thus fall under any misbehaviour from some factions of the Libyan Thuwar,
Despite convergence in views between Algerian and Libyan authorities following a summit meeting between President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the President of the Libyan Transitional Council Mr. Mustafa Abdul Jalil in Qatar and calls from many Libyan official sources supportive of a dégel in the Algerian Libyan tie, some Thuwar or rebels continue pushing for ‘’revenge’’ on countries and citizens they see as enemies because those countries backed former regime in Libya. The countries include Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, Chad and Mali.
Haftar is unique as he used to be “confidant” of Moammar Gadhafi whom he backed during his “1969 coup” against King Idris Senoussi and then his sworn enemy after he was abandoned in the hands of Chadians with some a hundred of Libyan POWs during the 1980s Libya war against Chadian President Hissene Habre. Haftar then could flee Libya and lived in the US for some 20 years.
Last November 17th, 150 sub-officers who defected from Gadhafi’s armed forces in the heat of the civil uprising named Haftar as the new chief, presenting the new Libyan authorities with a done-deal.