He doesn’t look like how you imagine a Warlord: dark eyebrows, well-kept moustache, an almost gentle Smile. But Khalifa Haftar (75) is one of the most cunning war leader.
With the middle of 20, he staged a coup, Muammar al-Gaddafi (†69). Under the dictator Haftar made a career in the Libyan army. Decades of the reign of terror followed, Switzerland has witnessed with Gaddafi in 2008, one of its most serious foreign policy crises.
But there had renounced Haftar long by the dictator. Than Gaddafi had, after the Libyan defeat in Chad in 1987, a case, a left Haftar with the CIA and fled shortly thereafter in the United States. There he received political asylum and of the Libyan opposition movement.
Haftar has the Libyan oil
A coup attempt against Gaddafi in the mid-Nineties failed. But Haftar, who was sentenced in absentia to death, did not give up. At the time of the Arab spring, he returned more than two decades after his escape to his home country and helped to overthrow Gaddafi.
Then, Haftar should organize the Libyan armed forces. However, the task were withdrawn. Nevertheless, the experienced military strategist gained his troops. Haftars army referred to themselves as the Libyan national army (LNA).
While the government in Tripoli since the civil war and the overthrow of Gaddafi for almost eight years, not managed to get anywhere in the country authority, expanded the renegade General in its influence.
to The East, he controlled a long time complete. At the beginning of the year expanded Haftar in the South, with the two largest oil fields there, the entire Libyan oil production is now almost in his Hand.
France supports Haftar
Now, Haftar has taken the capital to the visor. Since Thursday his troops back to Tripoli, where the unity government of Prime Minister Fajes al-Sarradsch.
The most recent fighting is called for according to government data, a total of 32 Dead and 50 injured. Among the Victims are also civilians were. Haftars Libyan National army had said on Saturday 14 of the dead in their own ranks.
On the way to the Power Haftar messing with local rebel groups. Russia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are behind him.
in Addition, Haftar receives support from Europe: Because the renegade General is going on against the Islamists, he had in Emmanuel Macron, as yet, a loyal supporter. In Südlibyen supported Paris Haftar alone.
Haftars alliances are unstable
However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the G7 countries, applied on Sunday the sheet. The group let it be known: Especially the militia of General Haftar would have to be made to stop their advance on Tripoli. France also wants to appear to be no military solution to the conflict in Libya.
Despite the struggles of the United Nations to hold an all-party conference, the for the 14. to 16. April in Tripoli is scheduled. The Department of foreign Affairs supported the preparatory process for this conference. In November, Federal councillor Alain Berset had offered at the Libya conference in Palermo mediation by Switzerland.
Haftars alliances are considered to be wobbly. It is unclear whether Haftar has the necessary military strength to defeat the government forces. The assault on Tripoli could drag on for a long time.
in Addition, the West wants to play for Libya in the context of refugee policy, a decisive role, not a 75-Year-old. The fear: Dying Haftar, die also its structures.