Qatar signs an agreement with Sarraj which could destabilise the Libyan peace process

Since 2011, Qatari intelligence has been trying to create militias and armed groups to influence the course of the conflict in Libya through the Muslim Brothers
Fayez Sarraj Libia

AFP/ADEM ALTAN  -   Fayez al-Sarraj during a press conference at the Ankara Presidential Complex

Qatar has signed a security agreement with the Libyan National Accord Government (LNA) led by Fayez Sarraj. The agreement, according to the Al-Ain media, is seen as a tool to destroy attempts to end the Libyan civil war and, in turn, help perpetrate the Turkish presence in the country.

The signing came after the warring parties reached a ceasefire agreement in Geneva. This ceasefire stipulates the need to disband the existing militias and to stop the Turkish agreements with Sarraj.

Al-Ain's international observers regard the agreement as an attempt by Qatar and Turkey to continue sponsoring terrorist organisations and armed militias and to have a means of penetrating official institutions in Libya.

Sarraj's interior minister explained some areas through which Doha is influencing all Libya's security arrangements, including personal identity documentation and the training of administrative leaders. These activities are in addition to electronic, economic and cyber crime, the development of laboratories and forensic evidence, the system for entering and leaving the country, the traffic system, coastal security, investigation and research, identification of persons and assistance in investigations.

This agreement has made many of Qatar's enemies uncomfortable, as they see it as making the country a "captive target in the shadow of Qatar", reports Al-Ain. Among the measures adopted in the agreement is Article VI, which "provides a method for financing Doha-sponsored terrorist groups in Libya". Al-Ain draws this conclusion from the statement in the text that all financial obligations resulting from the implementation of the agreement's provisions will be approved.

Article VII has also created controversy. According to Emirati analysts, the agreement has deprived Libya of the right to resort to international arbitration or to enter into a third party in the event of a dispute over the terms of the agreement. Instead, it states that: "Any dispute that may arise from the interpretation or application of the provisions of this memorandum is to be settled amicably without recourse to a third party or international arbitration". This, according to Al-Ain, makes the agreement immune from being cancelled in the event of a change in the pro-Karate government.

As for the eighth and last article, they state that the agreement would come into force upon signature and its provisions would apply for a period of three years automatically renewed for a similar period. 

Sarraj en Turquía
PHOTO/OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER OF LIBYA - The Prime Minister of Libya, Fayez al-Sarraj, meets the Defence Ministers of Turkey, Hulusi Akar, and Qatar, Khalid bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah, in Tripoli, Libya, on 17 August 2020
The Thuwar Brigades

Qatar's intervention in Libya began in 2011, when Doha heavily sponsored the Muslim Brotherhood through coverage of the people's movement in Libya. The Qatari channel Al-Jazeera began to present and symbolize the Brotherhood as one of the most important figures in the people's movement in the east of the country. Qatar soon supported it with financial support, weapons and media to form a militia called "February 17".

This coincided with the distortion and weakening of the Libyan general Abdel Fattah Younes, who declared his partiality towards the popular movement. Through a Qatari intelligence group, the "17 February" militia set up in Tobruk under the pretext of facilitating the arrival of humanitarian aid to the Libyan people during their ordeal. This group, according to Al-Ain, brought together "international terrorist elements who were sent to Libyan territories". At the same time, another Qatari group arrived in Benghazi to supervise the entry of medium-sized weapons and portable thermal "Milan" missiles by air and sea.

According to Libyan intelligence sources, among the Qatari officers and elements supervising the process of sending arms to Libya and training the operatives were Nasser Abdulaziz al-Mannai and Jasem Abdullah al-Mahmoud, as well as Abdul Rahman al-Kuwari, who was stationed in Sudan with other Qatari officers.

"Shields", the second attempt

After the assassination of the Libyan colonel Muammar El Gaddafi, the ambitions of the Brotherhood increased to form an army that relied on the former militias, which were monitored at that time by the Turkish intelligence.

These militias were called the "Libyan Shield" and, after the terrorist Wissam bin Hamid succeeded in annexing new international terrorist elements from al-Qaeda organisations, the militia liquidated most of the national civilian and military leaders in eastern Libya. This, Al-Ain claims, threatened the completion of the Qatari terrorist project.

The "third attempt" of the National Guard

After several accusations, the Brotherhood made the decision to use these militias. To this end they added new troops under the name of "National Guard", made up of the most prominent members of the Libyan Fighting Group, which is one of the tributaries of al-Qaeda led by the terrorists Abdel Hakim Belhadj, Khaled al-Sharif and Abdel-Wahab Qaid, and other ideological militias of Misurata and al-Zawiya.

Youssef al-Manqoush (originally from Misrata) and akin to Qatar was placed in charge of the General Staff in 2012, where he played an important and dangerous role by deceiving the Libyan people. Al-Manqoush took on the task of providing funds and political cover to the Misrata militias, thus disbursing billions of dollars to the militias with public money from the Libyans. This led to most young people joining the militias, providing a suitable environment and coverage for the spread of Daesh and al-Qaeda in the country.