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Tunisia Under Crossfire As Haftar's Allies Seek Chaos - Opinion

Opinion | 2020-05-22 23:51:02
Tunisia Under Crossfire As Haftar's Allies Seek Chaos - Opinion
   Libya’s Government forces in Tripoli, Libya on 27 March 2020 [Anadolu Agency]
By Yasser Abu Hilala

As soon as the counter-revolution in Libya has shown signs of failure, Tunisia started facing new rounds of sabotage, including an attempt to drive a wedge between the House of Representatives and the presidency, and provoking infighting within the parliament. 

The current economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic are being used to incite the Tunisian General Labor Union to erupt new crises.

The past week witnessed an unprecedented campaign to demonize the Ennahda Movement and its leader Rached Ghannouchi. Abu Dhabi's media in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have claimed that Ghannouchi, who is internationally respected for his intellectual, political and financial integrity, stole billions and owns “huge palaces in touristic zones, a private jet, and luxury cars”. 

The London-based Saudi daily, Asharq al-Awsat, has demanded an investigation into the wealth of Ghannouchi, as did some Emirati and Egyptian newspapers, revealing the reach of the media of the counter-revolution.

The UAE realized that it failed to sabotage the only successful democratic transition in the Arab World, however, its attempts persisted for a decade. The threat lies in the possibility of it resorting to once again using the Islamic State (IS) card, as happened in February 2013 with the assassination of lawyer and activist Chokri Belaid. Indeed, the former Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, who was defeated by the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), is allied with ISIS in Libya and is experienced in the game of assassinations and bombings that might be transferred to Tunisia.

Despite the awareness of the Tunisian people and their elites in the parliament and the presidency, some actions should be taken against a potential counter-revolution, both internally and externally. Internally, those who incite murder and terrorism must be prosecuted and the security must be fortified and more vigilant. And externally, it is necessary to cooperate with the GNA in battling Haftar.

In a comment on Haftar’s defeat in al-Wattiyah, The Emirati Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, has tweeted that, “The Libyan crisis has been ongoing for nearly 10 years.” He sees the Arab Spring in Libya as a crisis that only another dictator like Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Egypt can resolve. It is not too shocking that to this day, the UAE still supports Bashar al-Assad.

The real Libyan crisis was resolved 10 years ago, when the world witnessed the people reclaim their country and experience, for the first time in 40 years, a democratic election in 2012, in which the National Forces Alliance (NFA), led by Mahmoud Jibril, gained the majority. However, when it thought it was capable of creating another Sisi in Libya, the UAE plunged the country into a crisis.

Ironically, Sisi himself is finally fed up with Haftar’s defeats. In fact, an Egyptian official told Mada Masr that Egypt and its allies are ready to abandon the general after more than a year of failed military campaigns and, after his final defeat in al-Wattiyah, they are looking for his replacement. This loss is a huge setback, especially after Haftar received support that cost billions with the backing of France, the UAE, Egypt, Russia and Israel.

The UAE’s media should have focused about more pressing issues, like the military planes that the “Field Marshal” has left behind in al-Wattiyah, instead of talking about the private planes that Ghannouchi owns, or maybe responding to the Israeli Channel 12 that published pictures of an Emirati private plane that transported Israelis from Morocco.

Yasser Abu Hilala is a writer and journalist, worked as Al-Jazeera Director-General (2014-2018).

Read the original post in The New Arab Here

Zaman Al Wasl
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