Avoiding Civil War in Libya
Source: “Zeidan Flees, the Islamists Win,” 16 March 2014, al-Quds al-Arabi. http://www.alquds.co.uk/?p=144273
When Zeidan ordered that the ship be pursued and targeted, he found that his military arsenal was empty. The battleships and boats had been destroyed by the NATO attacks. Libya’s pilots were in a state of insubordination due to changes in the leadership and thus no aircraft mobilized to stop the ship. When he asked the Libya Shield Forces, which are made up of various revolutionary factions, to mobilize, a group from Misrata did so. They used small boats and frigates to chase after the Korean ship. The images and conversations that took place between the ship’s crew and the gunmen that pursued it show that the Misrata fighters indeed blockaded the ship. However, the ship was faster than the fighters’ boats and when it came face to face with an American ship it meant that the Korean ship left Libyan territorial waters, giving Jadhran a victory in this round.
Source: Hisahm al-Shalawi. “The Roots of the Libyan Crisis,”15 March 2014, al-Jazeera. http://www.aljazeera.net/opinions/pages/2857f38d-4477-49b1-bbfd-496e71200c9e
The National Forces Alliance in reality takes advantage of the gaps between the revolutionary groups, foremost among them the Justice and Building Party, to weaken political, economic and social stability. These gaps are the result of the inability by the groups born from the February Revolution of building alliances with a shared vision regarding the most important political and security issues. The youth of the February Revolution are unable to understand the truth and the nature of the domestic and foreign conspiracy in Libya and consider each revolutionary faction as capable of winning this battle with their own vision and which is most often premised on the use of force… The Libyan Shield forces which follow the chief of staff and have and continue to have a major role in defeating the counterrevolutionary forces, have been on the decline in Libya’s east and especially Benghazi, where they fell into a trap set by intelligence services and which resulted in the killing of protesters in front of their headquarters last June. In November of the same year forces from Misrata stationed in the Gharghour area of Tripoli fell into the same trap. Both forces were forced to withdraw and their popularity suffered a major blow.
Source: “Misratans pull out of Sirte and oilfields ahead of possible Jadhran deal,” 17 March 2014, Libya Herald. http://www.libyaherald.com/2014/03/17/misratans-pull-back-out-of-sirte-and-oilfields-ahead-of-possible-jadhran-deal/
The Misrata-based Central Libya Shield Brigade (also known as the Misrata Third Force) has withdrawn from Sirte Airbase and from the Zueitina, Al-Fida and Al-Ghani oilfields south east of Sirte in the area around Zillah… According to officials in Misrata last night, a deal had been brokered under which Misratan and Benghazi forces would pull out of Sirte and the oilfields, although units from while Tarhouna, Zawia, Beida and Marj would stay. In return, Jadhran would leave for Dubai, handing over the oil terminals to the PFG under the control of Idris Bukhamada… However, whether the deal becomes reality has yet to be seen. A similar agreement brokered by the Magharba last December came to nothing.
Source: “The Balance of Fear Forces the Parties in the ‘Port Conflict’ to Negotiate,” 15 March 2014, Libya News Network. http://goo.gl/XfAJjE
The struggle over Sirte and the oil ports could have turned into a battle between east and west if not for Zintan’s stance rejecting the use of force to free the oil ports. This stance was supported by Zintan’s allies including Warfallah, Tarhouan, Warshefana, Gharyan and most areas in the Jabal al-Gharbi area. This eliminated the possibility of an east-west conflict and turned it instead into one between Misrata and the rest of Libya… Not all of Cyrenaica’s tribes support Ibrahim Jadhran, especially after he sold oil illegally. The al-Zawiya tribe, which lives in Adjabiya alongside the al-Magharaba tribe, announced its rejection of attempts to sell oil in this way, especially after the al-Magharaba stood with the Tibu in their battle with the al-Zawiya in Kufra. The use of military force by Misrata to liberate the oil ports, though, has led Cyreanaica tribes to ally with Jadhran… It seems that resolving the oil ports conflict calls for going to the edge of the abyss and a show of force by both sides, while negotiations continue. Events confirm that Ibrahim Jadhran is alone unable to manage the crisis…