Statement issued at the meeting of Libyan National Forces to support the Libyan Armed Forces in fighting terrorist and extremist armed militias

In the name of Allah, the Merciful and Companionate

“Permission is given to those who fight because they were wronged. Allah has power to grant them victory.” True are the words of Allah.

In this important and pivotal stage in the history of the Libyan people, national tribal leaders, political activists, academics and media figures gathered in Cairo on Monday and Tuesday, June 17 and 18, 2019, to discuss the developments of the Libyan crisis in all its aspects. At this time, the national forces ask Allah to bestow mercy on the righteous martyrs of the country who rose up in defense of freedom, independence and territorial integrity of the homeland.

We salute the Armed Forces for responding to the plea of the people and their repeated calls to rid them from the scourge of terrorism and the encroachment of the militias that have spread all over the country, wreaking havoc and mayhem, plundering and destroying the people’s resources, and tampering with our national wealth and investments. As a result, the country has become a shelter for extremists, a place for armed conflict, and an arena for retaliation at the expense of people’s blood and violation of their sanctities. All this has established the basis for blatant foreign intervention in Libyan internal affairs.

Aware of the seriousness of this phase and the threat to our independence, territorial integrity and safety of our people;

Believing in the decisive role of the Libyan Armed Forces in saving the country from chaos, foreign manipulation, terrorism and extremism;

Trusting that these forces are the basis for building a democratic civilian state, where the weapons are the exclusive preserve of the military and security institutions of the state and;

In recognition of the great sacrifices made by the Armed Forces, and the pure blood shed on the country’s Mihrab, paving the way to the new Libya.

The national forces from different Libyan regions, cities and villages and from all social, political and academic fields, gathered in Cairo, Egypt, the pulsing heart of the African-Arab Nation, for serious and responsible dialogue. After discussions and deep analyses of the nature of the Libyan crisis and ways to get out of it, the national forces came to a complete agreement on the national project led by the Armed Forces and declared their full support for this project.

Libya must embark on a comprehensive redevelopment process, aimed at harnessing the wealth that Allah has bestowed on Libya for the benefit of all the Libyan people.

At the end of our deliberations, the national forces would like to affirm to the masses of the Libyan people, the African-Arab nations and the international community our steadfast position for the Armed Forces and underline the following:

First:

We extend greetings and appreciation to the Republic of Egypt, both the people and government, under the leadership of His Excellency, President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, president of the African Union. We thank them for the support extended to the Libyan people and their legitimate institutions during this difficult period of the nation’s life, and for their care of the hundreds of thousands of forcibly displaced Libyans, victims of terrorism and militias.

Second:

We pay tribute to the Libyan Armed Forces: officers, noncommissioned officers and soldiers, under the guidance of Field Marshal Khalifah Abulqasim Haftar. We commend the tremendous efforts they have been making to purge the country of terrorism and criminality, in the battles of honor and dignity in which they are engaging to achieve the aspirations and will of the Libyan people.

Third:

We bring to the attention of the peoples of the world the destructive role of terrorist organizations and criminal militias in Libya, and their illegal attempts to impose an illegitimate authority, based in the capital of all Libyans, Tripoli. These criminal militias are inflicting grave harm and hardship on the Libyan people, affecting every aspect of their daily subsistence and lives. They have taken the Libyans back to a life of under-development, backwardness and ignorance. We want to expose the fallacious nature of the systematic media campaigns orchestrated by the Muslim Brotherhood in their desperate attempt to distort the reality of the battle, portraying it as a power-driven conflict between two parties, or worse, as a battle between the defenders of a civil state and an army that intends to militarize it.

Fourth:

We affirm our unlimited support to the Libyan Armed Forces as they engage in the Flood of Dignity Battle to cleanse the capital. It is the battle of all Libyans, in which their blood combines to embody national unity, to deter terrorism and to put a stop on the rule of the militias. We urge the Libyan Armed Forces to accelerate the liberation of the capital and thereby the total elimination of crime and terrorism that has engulfed Libya over the past years. This will lead to the empowerment of the legitimate civil institutions to carry out their operations in an atmosphere of security and stability, which is a popular demand for the achievement of the national project, aimed at a prosperous democratic civil state, where all the people can participate, without distinction, exclusion or discrimination.

Fifth:

We stress that it is impossible to talk about the establishment of a civilian state, in the presence of armed militias, regional or ideological. The Armed Forces and the Security Services must be the guarantors of a stable state, governed by law, under which all the people are equal, without exclusion based on regional and/or tribal conflicts.

Sixth:

We strongly condemn the support by some countries, for example, Turkey and Qatar, for the militias and extremist groups, support in the form of weapons, finance, intelligence and recruits from terrorist groups based in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. We also hold these countries responsible, politically and legally, for what they have done to the Libyan people and emphasize to the peoples of the world that these crimes, which are in violation of international law and norms, will not pass without accountability and prosecution, once the right conditions are in place.

Seventh:

We affirm our displeasure and condemnation of the continuation of the embargo on the provision of arms to the legitimate Libyan Armed Forces and call upon the international community to lift it forthwith, so that these forces can wage their legitimate fight against terrorism, and make what is a major contribution to the global fight against terrorism. We also stress that resolving this battle against terrorism in favor of the national union will have a positive impact on all countries in the region and the world, for this will put a stop to the current absurd misuse of state resources to support terrorist organizations. Such a victory will contribute to the drying up of financial support for terrorism in Libya and the surrounding areas, and enable the Libyans to establish a civil state that shoulders its own national and international responsibilities.

Eighth:

We find the position of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya and its ambiguous attitude towards this battle to purge the capital, Tripoli, of terrorist groups puzzling. The U.N. has made the fatal mistake of equating armed terrorist groups with a legitimate military establishment.

Ninth:

We condemn the illegitimate so-called government of Al-Wefaq for harboring terrorists; supporting militias in the face of the Armed Forces; and wasting the resources of the Libyan people, who are suffering from poverty, lack of electricity, fuel and the collapse of all services. We consider this government to be a usurper of the capital and hold its representatives, in their personal capacity, liable for all legal consequences for their repressive measures against the Libyan people. We also consider them fully responsible for the individual and collective repression, detentions and intimidation practiced against the youth of Tripoli and its people.

Tenth:

We consider any talk about a cease-fire in light of the continuation of arms outside the control of the state a proposal intended to delude. This call, in addition to being mere talk, is intended to tickle the public’s emotions and deceive them once again. It will only serve to establish the continuation of the miserable situation that has continued over the past years, characterized by the domination of militias and the hegemony of the forces of extremism and terrorism in the face of a weak government unable to act against these forces. Therefore, in our current situation, it is necessary to ensure that all militias depart from the capital and hand over their weapons to the legitimate Armed Forces and Security Services. This will enable civil institutions to perform their tasks and create the conditions for holding transparent elections, without exclusion or marginalization of any contenders

Eleventh:

The participants in the National Forces Forum, in all of its political, social and cultural circles, call upon our people, in areas and cities controlled by terrorist organizations and militia groups, to enlighten their wrongly educated youth. We urge these young people to surrender their weapons, and prepare themselves to contribute to the rebuilding of the nation after the Armed Forces’ victory over the terrorist alliance.

Twelfth:

We emphasize our total rejection of the so-called “President of the Presidential Council”, Fayez Al-Sarraj’s initiative to address the current situation. It is a proposal for the continuation of the No-State situation, and thus seeks to maintain the state of affairs as it was before the start of the Flood of Dignity process, a process blessed by all honorable people of this country. This so-called initiative does not give expression to the true aspiration of the Libyan people to build a stable democratic state, in which harmony and peaceful co-existence among its people prevails, where weapons are the exclusive preserve of the national military and security institutions that uphold the national ideology, not the ideology of terrorist organizations or criminal militias.

In conclusion, the National Forces renew their commitment to work with the Libyan Armed Forces to lay the foundation for building a stable state, in which the Libyan people are free to decide their destiny. We also reaffirm our determination to overcome the tragedies of the past years and to heal the wounds of our people by establishing a comprehensive National Reconciliation process based on restorative justice, under the auspices of the legitimate legal institutions, in which all Libyans are equal in rights and duties. Such a comprehensive reconciliation effort should lead to the honoring of the martyrs, the redress of grievances, the fulfillment of human rights by law, the initiation of cultural efforts to remove the distortions that have damaged our social fabric, and the rewriting of national history based on truth and evidence-based facts.

In short, Libya must embark on a comprehensive redevelopment process, aimed at harnessing the wealth that Allah has bestowed on Libya for the benefit of all the Libyan people. This will include the commencing of development projects that have been stalled; fighting corruption; retrieving the funds looted by terrorist organizations and militias; and restoring Libya to its natural position in African, Arab and international milieus.

“O our Lord! Decide Thou between us and our people with truth, Thou art the Best of the Deciders.” True are the words of Allah.

Glory and immortality to the righteous martyrs, and long live a free and prosperous Libya!

The National Forces of Libya – Cairo, June 17, 2019