The decision of the Presidential Council, in its capacity as the commander-in-chief of the army, to prevent the military from traveling, and to hold meetings except with his permission, raised many questions about the possibility of Haftar and his militia leaders abiding by such decisions.
Banning travel and media appearances
The Presidential Council, in its capacity as the Supreme Commander of the Libyan Army, decided to prevent the military from traveling and appearing in the media without prior permission, to hold meetings abroad or at home, and to make statements of a political nature without the permission of the Supreme Commander.
The Presidential Council added that these actions are considered a violation of the basic tasks of the army, and is prohibited and legally punishable acts according to the Military Penal Code, as well as a deviation of the role of the military institution from its course, and a violation of the desired principles of democracy.
Haftar and El Sisi
These instructions issued by the President came after several meetings and statements made by Khalifa Haftar. On March 31, he said that he is putting the capabilities of his militias at the disposal of Egypt and its president, Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, in defending its water security.
In a speech broadcast by the “Libya Al-Hadath” channel, owned by one of his sons, Haftar affirmed his full support for Egypt, the people and the government, in their stance in defending their water and economic security, and their right to defend their legitimate rights.
Haftar said, in a speech during what was known as the “Families of the Martyrs” Forum in Al Rajma on April 11th, that what is known as the General Command will build three cities with full facilities in the east, west and south of the city of Benghazi, which can accommodate at least 12 million people.
In the same context, Haftar held a number of meetings with some tribes and social and cultural components during the last period and with a number of international ambassadors and envoys, such as the head of the United Nations mission in Libya, Jan Kubis.
Acknowledgment from Al-Mismari
On February 6, after the election of the new executive authority (the Presidential Council and the government), the spokesman for Haftar militias, Ahmed Al-Mismari, acknowledged that the new presidential council is the supreme commander of the Libyan army, according to the political agreement.
Al-Mismari continued, in a television interview, that “the Libyan army is an institution like all Libyan institutions will deal with any politician in accordance with the law and the current constitutional declaration, and there will be coordination between the two sides.”
Will Haftar abide by this decision and refrain from holding internal or external meetings, and media statements? This is what the coming days will reveal.