UN Experts Report: The Haftar family has launched a plan to control the army and aspects of life in eastern Libya

Alwasat Staff Fri 29 Sep 2023, 06:02 PM
alwasat radio

A report by the UN Panel of Experts released on Friday, revealed the features of a plan developed by the family of Marshal Khalifa Haftar to strengthen control over "the military, financial and strategic operations of the Libyan army," as well as social and economic life in eastern Libya. 

The report, a copy of which was obtained by Alwasat, covers the period from April 25, 2022 to July 17, 2023, following the failed attempt to take control of Tripoli.

The UN report monitors the details of Khalifa Haftar's control over the army, represented by Brigadier General Khaled Haftar, his second oldest son, taking command of the 106th Brigade, with the 166th Brigade and the 155th Brigade under the command of Ayoub Bousif Al-Ferjani, Khalifa Haftar's son-in-law, and Bassem Al-Buaishi, Khalifa Haftar's cousin. 

The report concludes that "these positions not only strengthened the Haftar family's grip on the military, but also aimed at limiting any potential rise of a military figure outside Haftar's circle within the ranks of the military."

The most recent example of this strategy emerged on May 3, when Haftar issued an order to place the 115th Brigade under the command of the 106th Brigade, placing commander Abdel Fattah Al-Nadouri, the son of General Command Chief of Staff Abdelrazek Al-Nadouri, directly under the supervision of Khaled Haftar. Abdelrazek Al-Nadouri attempted to oppose the move and mobilize tribal support to no avail, according to UN experts.

In some areas such as Tobruk, local tribes retained a level of autonomy and influence to challenge General Command's authority. However there is currently no significant military force operating outside the direct control of Haftar's inner circle in the east of the country. 

The UN report pointed to Belgasim Haftar's work to strengthen the influence of the Haftar family within the House of Representatives and the eastern based government. The report notes that he has lobbied for greater dominance of his family over political institutions in the east of the country. 

"The Haftar family has worked to build a patronage network that has given them the ability to directly control rapid military movements, the public sector, and the political decision-making process, meaning that it has direct influence over the national political process, which cannot move forward without their consent," the report says.

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