By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 17 January 2015:
Divisions appear to be hardening within Libya Dawn over the UN-sponsored dialogue process started this . . .[restrict]week in Geneva.
It is reported that Janzour and Suq Al-Juma municipal councils have announced that they will not attend the dialogue talks because, they say, the continuing General National Congress is the only body authorised to deal with the matter. The move contrasts with the support for the talks from a number of municipal councils in recent days, the most notable being Misrata and Tripoli.
The move was not unexpected. Hardliners in Libya Dawn opposed to the dialogue have been trying to stop municipal councils, several of which have been invited to Geneva, from taking part in the process. Both Janzour and Suq Al-Juma are seen as firm bastions of the hardliner sentiment.
As part of the campaign, the Hassi “minister” for local government, Mouhaned Younis, this week told Libya’s municipal councils that the dialogue was none of their business. For his part, the new deputy minister, Mohamed Lafi, convoked a meeting of more than 20 mayors in Ghariyan two days ago in a bid to unite them against it.
The location appears to have been deliberately chosen by Lafi, said to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, since Ghariyan had already given its backing to the dialogue.
So too has Lafi’s hometown of Zawia.
Meanwhile, there have been further ramifications from yesterday’s row at a meeting in Tripoli of Libya Dawn commanders over the call from negotiators in Geneva for a ceasefire. At the meeting, which was not attended by one of the main Misratan military leaders, Salah Badi, the other Misratans along with commanders from Zliten and Khoms accepted the ceasefire while those from Ghariyan, Zawia and Sabratha as well as of at least one Tripoli brigade did not.
The meeting was followed by a public announcement by the Misratans of a ceasefire.
Today the Hassi Ministry of Defence and Chief of Staff (which like the rest of the Hassi team are seen as under Libya Dawn’s control) said that no one had been authorised to make such an announcement. At the same time, Libya Dawn forces, in a clear rejection of a ceasefire, continued to try and attack LNA forces near Ajilat and Al-Jmail. The result, according to Zintani sources, was that there were further airstrikes on the Dawn forces who, they said, were obliged to retreat.
Meanwhile, a number of residents in Misrata, encouraged by the support for dialogue from the city council and military leaders, took part in a protest demanding an end to violence and bloodshed in Libya. It was the first such protest in Misrata since the outbreak of clashes last year. [/restrict]