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3 février 2015 2 03 /02 /février /2015 21:45
En Libye, face aux djihadistes de Benghazi




REPORTAGE - Quatre ans après le printemps libyen réprimé par Kadhafi et l'intervention occidentale, qui mit fin à sa dictature, le pays est plongé dans une guerre civile qui menace  la sécurité de ses voisins. Notre reporter a pu retourner dans le berceau de la révolution aux mains d'Ansar Al-Charia.


Au téléphone, Mohamed Salama avait prévenu. "La Benghazi que vous avez connue n'existe plus", avait lancé le reporter libyen, l'un des derniers à y travailler encore. La voiture filait alors vers l'ouest, sur la bande d'asphalte qui longe la mer et les marais salants pour rejoindre la capitale de l'Est libyen. Une route coupée tous les 20 km par des barrages de l'armée nationale libyenne. L'un de leurs officiers, basé à Al-Marj, à une centaine de kilomètres au nord-est, avait découragé toute visite au-delà du dernier barrage. "Il y a encore des combats et les djihadistes sont toujours là. Et, s'ils vous attrapent, vous savez ce qu'ils font : ils coupent les têtes…"


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16 novembre 2014 7 16 /11 /novembre /2014 08:45
Libya: This Could End Very Badly


November 15, 2014: Strategy Page


Despite the continued fighting in the east and attacks on some oil fields, oil shipments have continued. There have been some interruptions recently, but the national oil company has managed to cope and is still on schedule to get oil shipments up to a million barrels a day by the end of the year. That goal is threated by undisciplined factions technically allied with the Tripoli government who continue to fight over control of oil facilities even though this is counterproductive (these factions have no way to selling any oil they seize). Oil shipments peaked at 800,000 barrels a day in September but have since dropped to 500,000 a day. Pre-2011 shipments were three time that.


The battle for Benghazi continues. For over a month there has been heavy fighting as some Islamic terror groups refuse to leave the city and fight to the death. The pro-government forces of general Hiftar are using artillery, air power and armored vehicles to methodically kill the remaining Islamic terrorists in the city. A month of this sort of thing has created several thousand casualties, including over 400 dead. One the major side effects of all this fighting was the disruption of the normal activities in the city. As the largest city in Eastern Libya, Benghazi contained essential administrative and logistical (warehouses with key items like medical supplies) operations. The disruption caused by the fighting created shortages of medical supplies and interrupted administrative support for many oil facilities in the east. Everyone concerned had to scramble to make alternate arrangements.


In the southeast the army has another problem with the growing number of Islamic terrorist camps being set up in southwest Libya (where the borders of Libya, Algeria and Niger meet). Algeria and Niger are hard pressed to prevent all illegal crossings. As many Islamic terrorists are caught doing so, many more make it through. Malian Islamic terrorists from bases in southern Libya are now regularly moving south to carry out operations in northern Mali. All this is possible because of the Libyan civil war. That conflict is mainly up north along the coast and no one bothers with Islamic terrorists who only kill across the border in Mali. There is a similar problem in Afghanistan with Islamic terrorists operations from several sanctuary areas in neighboring Pakistan and Iran. French and American intelligence know a lot about all the illegal activity in southern Libya. UAVs and satellites reveal details of Islamic terrorist camps and convoys sneaking across the southern borders. Local spies and informants are used to obtain more detailed information and from that it is known that most of the armed men in the south are more intent on making money (usually smuggling guns, drugs or people) than Islamic terrorism. The big problem in southern Libya is that there is no law, aside from what little local tribal elders will hand out concerning tribal matters. The Libyan government has some security forces down there, but they are largely confined to the few towns in the desert area. The Tobruk government says it will deal with the lawless south as soon as it deals with a rival Islamic terrorist backed government in Tripoli.


Libya continues to come apart as a nation. The Tripoli and Tobruk governments have agreed to not interfere with oil operations, but the Tripoli government does not control all the Islamic terrorist groups that are technically under its command. Despite that there is a general understanding that the oil income, which the Tobruk government largely controls, buys essentials (like food) that will continue to be distributed to all Libyans. So far that seems to be working. This is what always mattered most because the oil money pays for everything. The cash from oil sales is going into the Central Bank, which tends to answer to the Tobruk parliament because that is the one with international recognition and that provides access to the international banking system. The various factions are pressuring the Central Bank and courts to favor them but it is the international community that controls the ability of Libya to buy essential (most of the food and everything else) needed to keep Libyans alive recognizes the Tobruck officials. That internationally recognized government set up shop in the small port city of Tobruk (1,600 kilometers east of Tripoli) after encountering hostility from militias loyal to the pre-June government. Many other government offices moved as well and are finding space where they can. The rebel governments in Tripoli and the Tobruk are fighting over who controls more than $100 billion held by the Central Bank. A lot of that cash is overseas and since Tobruk has international and UN support the Tripoli rebels are having a hard time maintaining control of any oil income. If the Tripoli government tries to sell oil on the black market they will have most of the world going after them with bank account shutdowns and seizure of the tankers they use (either in port or on the high seas). In the end, it’s the oil money that will bring peace, or abject poverty for all. The government is running out of cash and credit. Another year or two of this and life gets very miserable for Libyans. The UN speaks of Libya has sliding into a state of anarchy. No one is willing to intervene militarily and the UN has constant problems with gangsters and Islamic terrorists attacking air efforts. This could end very badly.


The Tripoli government has support from Turkey, Sudan and Qatar while the Tobruk government has most of the world recognizing it, along with most of the Islamic world. This is especially true with neighboring Egypt and most of the Arab oil states. Egypt has proclaimed that it will not intervene militarily. While that is the official position Egypt is apparently providing substantial, and secret, support to the Hiftar forces. This comes in the form of air support, weapons and other military supplies and even some Egyptian special operations troops. A major concern of the Egyptians is the movement of weapons and Islamic terrorists into Egypt and there are a lot more Egyptian troops and police on the Libyan border in the past few months. What the Egyptians need is pro-Egypt forces controlling the Libyan side of the frontier. Thus the support for the Hiftar coalition, which arose in Eastern Libya as a coalition of Libyan Army units, tribal militias and anti-Islamic terrorist groups. Hiftar is now officially part of the Tobruk government armed forces.


Most Libyans are fed up with the continuing violence. The 2011 rebellion against Kadaffi left over 30,000 dead but the infighting since then has killed nearly as many. Most major factions agree on peace but Islamic terrorist groups in Tripoli and Benghazi, aided by tribal factions that want more power and money, continue to fight.


November 14, 2014: Hiftar forces in Benghazi handed over nine Turks they had arrested in Benghazi two weeks ago. The Hiftar forces determined that the Turks were innocent of any crimes and were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Tobruk government was in the process of turning the Turks over to the Turkish government via the UN.


November 13, 2014: In Tripoli two car bombs went off near Egyptian and United Arab Emirates embassies. There were apparently no casualties. The embassies were boarded up and closed earlier this year.


November 12, 2014: In Tobruk two car bombs went off near the Oil Institute, killing three and wounding more than twenty. Another large explosion occurred at an air base near the eastern city of Bayda (controlled by the Tobruk government). This has disrupted commercial flights that now operate from that air base.


November 9, 2014: In the east (Shahat) a bomb went off in the town near where the UN was hosting talks with officials from the Tobruk government. There were no injuries. In the west (Tripoli) a group of gunmen attacked a bank and stole $1.3 million.


November 6, 2014: In Tripoli the constitutional court declared invalid the June 25th vote that elected the parliament that currently operates in Tobruk. The Tobruk government rejected this and accused the judges of succumbing to pressure from Islamic terrorist militias that control Tripoli and often use intimidation to get their way.


November 5, 2014: Britain has begun flying home nearly 300 Libyan officer trainees before their 24 week training was completed. Five of the Libyans did not leave as they are being held on rape charges. Three of these Libyans are charged with raping women and two of raping a man. The Libyans had arrived in June and within a month locals were complaining of Libyans coming into nearby communities and behaving badly. This was not supposed to happen as the Libyans were selected to receive combat and leadership training so they could better train and command troops back in Libya. British authorities were surprised by the bad behavior and responded by ordering the Libyans restricted to the 80 hectare (200 acre) base where they lived and trained. In August this led to a mutiny among some of the Libyans after British officers in charge of the training put three of the trainees under guard after police picked them up for being off base without permission. Then twenty other trainees went and threatened the British soldier guarding the three Libyan trainees. The British guard let the three go free rather than risk violence. Senior officers were uncertain about how to handle this insubordination. The situation went downhill from there. The Libyans were not only undisciplined but also unreliable. They would agree to certain conditions (as in how they behaved towards civilians on and off the base, especially women) and then ignore those agreements. When confronted they would plead ignorance of British customs and refused to accept responsibility. The Libyans also constantly fought among themselves. Although depicting themselves as devout Moslems many of them would go to the village, get drunk and commit crimes. Some blamed the British for making alcohol too easy to obtain. The British tried to cope with all this by stationing hundreds of armed soldiers in nearby communities and on the base to prevent the Libyans from getting out of hand. This did not work either. At least twenty of the Libyans tried to apply for political asylum. This was denied after the rape incidents in late October and the decision was made to send all the Libyans home. The five in jail will face trial early next year. Not all the trainees misbehaved and some of them were hastily given a graduation ceremony even though the training was a few weeks short of completion. This group of Libyans, selected from many pro-government factions, gave Britons an up-close exposure to the kind of thinking and behavior that is tearing Libya apart.


November 3, 2014: In Benghazi an RPG fired from a high rise building (apparently by an Islamic terrorist) hit a ship in the government controlled port area and caused a fire on board.                                                     


November 1, 2014:  The pro-government Labraq airport east of Benghazi has been temporarily closed until security forces can shut down the groups who have been firing rockets into the airport area.

The Hiftar forces also say they have proof that Qatar was sending weapons and military equipment to Islamic terrorist groups in Libya. The proof comes in the form of an aircraft from Qatar that landed in an airport controlled by Hiftar forces and was seized and searched.        


October 31, 2014: Pro-government forces claim to control 80 percent of Benghazi but the remaining Islamic terrorists are fighting to the death and will require another few weeks of effort to clear out. Meanwhile many of the Islamic terrorists who quickly got out of the city when the offensive began over a month ago have set up operations outside the city and throughout eastern Libya. These groups will have to be taken down one at a time.


October 25, 2014: Libya has asked for foreign assistance in destroying its remaining stockpile of raw materials for making nerve gas. Although facilities for the destruction of this stuff have been built in Libya and Libyans trained to do it, the chaos in Libya since the Kaddafi government was overthrown in 2011 have prevented the work from being done. So the Libyans are asking for the 850 tons of chemicals to be shipped out and destroyed overseas as was recently done with a similar Syrian stockpile.


October 24, 2014: In the east (Benghazi) pro-government forces seized the largest Islamic terrorist base in the city.

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11 septembre 2014 4 11 /09 /septembre /2014 16:45
Battle for Benghazi could break up Libya


10 September 2014 defenceWeb (Reuters)


Fighting in Benghazi could break up Libya.Pro-government Libyan forces, already reeling from the fall of the capital, are fighting to prevent Islamist militants from seizing the eastern city of Benghazi and splitting the North African country into three warring parts.


Three weeks after losing Tripoli to a different militia, the army now faces an offensive in Libya's second-largest city from the Islamists of Ansar al-Sharia, which has overrun special forces bases and is attacking Benghazi airport.


Losing the port city would not only leave the government looking impotent and irrelevant. It would also increase the risk of the country crumbling into de facto autonomous regions: the militants demand Islamist rule, while other armed groups want greater powers for the eastern region they call by its ancient name of Cyrenaica.


Rebel factions that united in 2011 in an uprising to smash the 42-year-rule of autocrat Muammar Gaddafi have turned their guns on one another, plunging Libya into chaos as they fight for power, oil, and cash from the $47 billion state budget.


Instead of the stable democracy Western powers had hoped to help create by backing the rebel uprising, Libya might be heading towards civil war, inviting comparisons with strife-torn countries such as Somalia, Yemen or South Sudan.


The fall of Benghazi would allow the Islamists to attack pro-government bases to the east, potentially threatening Bayda -- the seat of the constitutional assembly -- and Tobruk, where the government and elected parliament are holed up after losing Tripoli to a militia from Misrata called Operation Dawn.


Radical Islamists already control the coastal town of Derna, located halfway between Benghazi and Tobruk.


The central government is now only running a rump state of less than a third of the country, said Mattia Toaldo, policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. "Between Dawn and Ansar al-Sharia, they control a large portion that extends from Benghazi to the border with Tunisia," he said.




The conflict risks drawing in regional powers such as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates worried about Libya turning into a safe haven for radical Islamists. The two countries bombed Misrata positions in Tripoli last month, U.S. officials have said, though it did not stop the fall of the capital.


Libya's competing parts already treat each other like different entities - the new rulers in Tripoli have set up a rival parliament and government, while seizing at least four ministries and state television.


There are almost no flights any more connecting western airports under Misrata control and eastern ones held by the government.


For their survival, the uprooted parliament and the army forces in Benghazi have allied themselves with retired general Khalifa Haftar, whom the government had previously accused of trying to stage a coup.


With the army and police existing mainly on paper, parliament needs Haftar, who commands air bases in the east, to confront Ansar al-Sharia and the Misrata-led armed factions. But his firepower has not stopped an Islamist advance in Benghazi.


Analysts say even more worrying for the government are signs of tentative ties between its two main enemies, as Ansar al-Sharia has offered to cooperate with Operation Dawn. The Misrata-led force has not responded to the offer, but some of its supporters are backing the Islamists on social media.


Members of Ansar al-Sharia, blamed by Washington for an assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi during which the U.S. ambassador was killed in September 2012, have appeared in Tripoli since the Misrata victory, pictures on Facebook show.




Both the Misrata forces and some Islamist fighters in Benghazi frame themselves as revolutionary forces fighting what they call elements of the Gaddafi regime.


They point out that Haftar was a top Gaddafi general before falling out with the former strongman. And some fighters from a militia allied to him from the western region of Zintan used to be part of Gaddafi's security forces.


"We need to get rid of the Gaddafi forces still in control," said a commentator justifying the Tripoli assault, on a television station controlled by Misrata.


For their part, Haftar and the Zintanis see their battle as an attempt to prevent Libya falling into the hands of Islamists.


The United Nations is trying to bring the new Tripoli rulers and elected lawmakers to the negotiating table.


But Dirk Vandewalle, author of "A Modern History of Libya", said any coalition between the Misrata and Islamist forces would probably be tactical, aimed at getting rid of the government, as they did when united during the Gaddafi uprising.


"Virtually all cooperation we are now witnessing between certain groups of militias is essentially tactical and temporary," he said.


That would increase the likelihood of Libya breaking up into fiefdoms run by competing factions -- a Misrata-led one in the west, an Islamist-dominated east and a powerless rump government in the far-east.


Encouraged by the Tripoli takeover, other armed groups might emerge or split from the main armed groups, which would make it difficult to identify national leaders for any foreign-led mediation.


"I am not optimistic about any mediation efforts," said a Western ambassador to Libya.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:45
Libye : appel à l'intervention étrangère


13 août, 2014 – BBC Afrique


Le parlement de la Libye a voté en faveur d'une intervention étrangère pour protéger les civils pris au piège dans les combats meurtriers entre milices rivales.

Les députés se sont réunis à Tobrouk dans l'est du pays à cause de la violence à Tripoli et à Benghazi, et 111 députés sur 124 ont voté pour l'appel.

Ni l'ONU, ni aucune autre puissance étrangère n'a pour le moment de plans d'intervention


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17 juin 2014 2 17 /06 /juin /2014 18:20
Libye: opération secrète américaine


17 juin, 2014 – BBC Afrique


Un homme suspecté d’avoir dirigé l’attaque contre le consulat américain de Benghazi, en Libye, a été arrêté, a révélé le Pentagone.


L'assaut du 11 septembre 2012 avait coûté la vie à quatre Américains.


Ahmed Abu Khatallah est détenu depuis son arrestation lors d’une opération secrète des Américains en Libye le 15 juin.


Il est aujourd’hui sous détention dans un endroit sécurisé, à l’extérieur de la Libye, a confirmé un porte-parole du Pentagone.


L'ambassadeur américain Christopher Stevens et trois autres personnes avaient été tués dans cette attaque.


« Aucun civil n’a été blessé pendant cette opération et tout le personnel américain est aujourd’hui en dehors de la Libye”, a révélé un porte-parole du Pentagone dans un communiqué.


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17 mai 2014 6 17 /05 /mai /2014 20:45
Libye: zone d’exclusion aérienne sur Benghazi


17 mai, 2014 – BBC Afrique


L’armée libyenne a déclaré une zone d’exclusion aérienne au lendemain d’attaques aériennes menées par un ancien colonel de l’armée contre des milices armées.


L’armée menacerait d’abattre tout avion survolant Benghazi affirment des médias étatiques qui citent le haut commandement de l’armée.


Reste à savoir si les militaires ont les moyens d’appliquer cette décision.


Khalifa Haftar, à l’origine de l’assaut de vendredi a déclaré qu’il continuera de se battre pour chasser ce qu’il appelle les groupes islamistes hors de Benghazi.


Il a participé à la révolte contre le régime de Mouammar Kadhafi en 2011.


Sous son commandement, des officiers et des pilotes de l'armée de l'air ont bombardé vendredi des positions de groupes d’ex-rebelles dont celui d'Ansar Asharia.


L’organisation est considérée comme un groupe terroriste par les Etats-Unis.


Benghazi, dans l’Est de la Libye, est le fief de milices lourdement armées qui affrontent régulièrement les militaires.


Dans un communiqué, l’armée a qualifié de tentative de coup d’état l’offensive du colonel.

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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 22:45
Libye: armée et jihadistes s'affrontent à Benghazi, des morts dans une explosion dans le Sud


28 novembre 2013 Romandie.com (AFP)


BENGHAZI (Libye) - De nouveaux heurts meurtriers ont éclaté jeudi à Benghazi, dans l'Est libyen, entre l'armée et le groupe jihadiste Ansar Asharia, tandis qu'au moins dix personnes ont été tuées dans l'explosion d'un dépôt d'armes dans le sud du pays.


Trois soldats ont été tués et trois autres blessés dans les affrontements entre l'armée et Ansar Asharia à Benghazi, région théâtre de plusieurs attaques et heurts sanglants ces derniers jours, selon une source hospitalière et l'armée.


Dans le Sud, relativement épargné jusqu'ici par les violences, au moins dix personnes ont été tuées et quinze autres blessées, selon un bilan provisoire, après l'explosion d'un dépôt d'armes et de munitions à Brak al-Chati, à 650 km au sud de Tripoli, a indiqué à l'AFP le gouverneur militaire de la région sud, le général Mohamed al-Dhahbi.


Un groupe d'inconnus a tenté d'attaquer le dépôt, provoquant cet incident regrettable, a-t-il ajouté.


Il n'était pas possible dans l'immédiat de vérifier le bilan de source médicale.


La télévision nationale a fait état de morts et de blessés sans préciser le nombre. Elle a indiqué qu'un groupe de civils avait pris d'assaut le dépôt dans le but de dérober le cuivre qui se trouve dans les munitions, provoquant une série d'explosions.


Selon la télévision qui cite un des blessés, des immigrants africains figuraient parmi les assaillants.


Une source locale a indiqué à l'AFP que des dépôts d'armes et casernes de l'armée sont régulièrement attaqués et pillés dans cette région désertique.


A Benghazi, les habitants poursuivaient pour le troisième jour consécutif un mouvement de grève pour demander le départ des groupes armés, après des heurts lundi entre l'armée et Ansar Asharia, ayant fait sept morts et une cinquantaine de blessés, selon le ministère de la Santé.


Jeudi, de nouveaux affrontements ont fait trois morts et trois blessés, selon un bilan arrêté en fin d'après-midi.


Trois soldats tués et trois autres blessés ont été admis à l'hôpital, a déclaré la porte-parole de l'hôpital al-Jala de Benghazi, Fadia al-Barghathi.


Tournant dangereux


Le commandant des forces spéciales de l'armée à Benghazi, Wanis Aboukhamada, a indiqué que quatre personnes en possession d'explosifs avaient été arrêtées à l'entrée est de la ville.


Durant leur transfert vers le centre-ville, les forces de sécurité ont été attaquées par le groupe d'Ansar Asharia, le principal groupe salafiste jihadiste en Libye, a-t-il dit dans une déclaration diffusée par des chaînes de télévision libyennes.


M. Aboukhamada a confirmé le bilan de trois morts et de trois blessés, affirmant que les affrontements entre l'armée et les islamistes d'Ansar Asharia se sont étendus par la suite à d'autres quartiers de la ville.


Il a prévenu que les violences à Benghazi constituaient un tournant dangereux, appelant le gouvernement et le Congrès général national (CGN, Parlement) à assumer leurs responsabilités.


Un soldat libyen avait déjà été tué par balles jeudi matin à Benghazi, en proie à une vague de violences ciblant les militaires et les forces de sécurité, selon une source hospitalière et des témoins.


Selon ces témoins, des hommes armés ont tiré sur un véhicule particulier où se trouvaient deux soldats, tuant l'un d'eux tandis que le second est sorti indemne.


Trois soldats de l'armée libyenne avaient aussi été tués mercredi à Benghazi lors d'attaques séparées, tandis que les corps de deux autres militaires avaient été découverts mardi à Derna, plus à l'est.


Experts libyens et étrangers attribuent régulièrement les attaques menées dans l'Est libyen à des groupes islamistes, dont Ansar Asharia, mais les autorités n'osent pas accuser directement ces groupes lourdement armés, par crainte de représailles, selon ces experts.


Récemment, Ansar Asharia a indiqué dans un communiqué qu'il ne reconnaissait pas les institutions de l'Etat, ni ses services de sécurité, les qualifiant d'apostat et de Taghout (forces maléfiques au service de la tyrannie).


Depuis la chute du régime de Mouammar Kadhafi en 2011, les autorités de transition peinent à mettre en place une armée et une police professionnelles leur permettant d'asseoir leur pouvoir et de maintenir l'ordre.

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 12:45
Libyan army launches push for order in troubled Benghazi


11 November 2013 defenceWeb (Reuters)


Libyan's army moved into Benghazi in eastern Libya on Friday, a show of force aimed at restoring order in the country's second largest city, rocked by almost daily bombings and assassinations.


Security in the port city, an important part of Libya's oil infrastructure, has deteriorated in the past few months with armed militants and radical Islamists roaming unchallenged, highlighting the anarchy in the OPEC producer two years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.


Most countries have closed their consulates in Benghazi after a series of attacks and some foreign airlines have stopped flying there. The U.S. ambassador was killed in September 2012 during an Islamist assault on the consulate.


Stability in the region is key for oil supplies as around 60 percent of oil production comes from the country's eastern half.


Hundreds of armored troop carriers and army trucks mounted with guns drove through the old city near the Corniche after Friday prayers, cheered by residents tired of violence, witnesses said.


"We stand by the people," Wanis Bukhmada, commander of special forces in Benghazi, told a crowd. "We won't allow anyone to mess around with security anymore."


Some 500 people took to the streets, welcoming the army, which has been accused by critics of keeping largely to barracks in recent months.


"We are with the army. There is no security without the army," political activist Hania al-Gumati told Reuters during the demonstration.


But hours later unknown gunmen killed a security officer in Benghazi, a security source said.


Authorities reinforced the city with special forces in June after some 40 people were killed in clashes between rival militias, which helped bring down Gaddafi but kept their guns after the NATO-backed revolt.


Western powers worry that instability in Benghazi will spill over to the capital Tripoli, which saw the worst fighting between militias this week.


Three militiamen were killed during heavy fighting between rival groups with anti-aircraft guns and grenades on Thursday night, Sadat el-Badri, head of the local council told Reuters.


He said authorities would undertake "decisive action" to stop militia fighting but analysts are skeptical as the weak government of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan struggles to control much of a country awash with arms.


Protests and strikes over higher pay and political rights have shut down much of the country's oil output, depriving the government of the main source of income.

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15 juin 2013 6 15 /06 /juin /2013 15:45
Libye: au moins 3 soldats tués dans des affrontements à Benghazi

15/06/2013 par Nicolas Laffont – 45eNord.ca


De violents affrontements opposaient samedi les Forces spéciales et un groupe de manifestants armés qui s’attaquaient à des installations de l’armée et de la police, selon un journaliste de l’AFP et des témoins sur place, tandis que le chef de l’armée libyenne par intérim a mis en garde contre un «bain de sang».


Au moins trois membres des forces spéciales libyennes ont été tués dans les affrontements, selon ce qu’affirme les forces spéciales.


Des échanges de coups de feu nourris ainsi que des explosions étaient entendus depuis 04h00 locales (vendredi 22h00, Montréal) près du QG des Forces spéciales, non loin du centre-ville, selon un journaliste de l’AFP et des témoins.


Sur leur page Facebook, les forces spéciales ont indiqué que des affrontements à l’arme légère et avec tirs de roquettes les opposaient à un groupe «hors-la-loi», faisant état de deux blessés de leur côté.


Elles ont prévenu qu’elles allaient «prendre pour cible quiconque qui tire sur leurs forces», une semaine après des affrontements qui avaient fait plus d’une trentaine de morts et une centaine de blessés et les avaient contraintes à quitter leur QG, sous la pression de la rue et des autorités.


Le chef d’état-major par intérim, Salem al-Konidi, a mis en garde, dans une déclaration à la chaîne de télévision Al-Aseema, contre un «bain de sang» et une «catastrophe» à Benghazi.


«Si les forces spéciales sont attaquées, il y aura un bain de sang (…) Il pourrait y avoir une catastrophe à Benghazi», a prévenu M. Konidi, affirmant ne pas connaître les assaillants ni leurs motivations.


«S’ils ont des demandes, ils peuvent attendre jusqu’à demain (samedi). Nous pourrons discuter avec eux», a-t-il dit.


Le chef de l’armée a appelé «les dignitaires et les sages de Benghazi à se mobiliser pour éviter des bains de sang».


En début de soirée, des dizaines de manifestants ont délogé une brigade d’ex-rebelles, la «Première brigade d’infanterie», de son QG à Benghazi, et ont incendié deux véhicules appartenant à cette brigade. Le chef d’état-major a affirmé avoir ordonné à cette brigade de quitter son QG pour préserver des vies.


Selon un témoin sur place, les manifestants dont certains sont armés ont tiré en l’air et lancé une roquette RPG sur le mur extérieur de la caserne, sans faire de victimes.


La «Première brigade d’infanterie» est formée d’ex-rebelles ayant combattu le régime de Mouammar Kadhafi en 2011. Elle affirme agir aux ordres du ministère de la Défense.


Les assaillant ont attaqué par la suite un commissariat de police, des bureaux de la Garde-frontières et des installations ainsi qu’un autre bâtiment administratif de la «Première brigade d’infanterie», selon des témoins.


Le week-end dernier, «Bouclier de Libye», une brigade proche des islamistes, qui affirme dépendre aussi du ministère de la Défense, a été attaquée par des manifestants anti-milices et obligée d’évacuer son QG.


Les protestataires affirmaient vouloir déloger les «milices» armées de leur ville, appelant les forces régulières à prendre le relais. Mais ces activistes affirment ne pas prendre part à aux affrontements de vendredi soir et de samedi matin.


Ils accusent «Bouclier de Libye» et des groupes d’islamistes d’avoir mobilisé leurs membres pour venger leur «défaite» du week-end dernier, en s’attaquant aux forces régulières.


Les autorités, qui peinent à former une armée et une police professionnelles, ont régulièrement recours à ces ex-rebelles pour sécuriser les frontières ou s’interposer dans des conflits tribaux.


Le nouveau pouvoir en Libye n’a pas réussi à désarmer et à dissoudre les groupes d’ex-rebelles qui font la loi dans le pays et tente de légitimer certains d’entre eux malgré l’opposition d’une grande partie de la population.


Benghazi, la deuxième ville de Libye d’où était partie en 2011 la contestation qui a conduit à la chute du régime de Kadhafi, a été le théâtre ces derniers mois de plusieurs attaques contre des intérêts occidentaux et d’assassinats de responsables de la sécurité.

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