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Libyan government 'proves' Haftar's financial corruption

Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar sits during talks with Greek Foreign Minister in Athens, on January 17, 2020 [ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images]
Libya's Khalifa Haftar in Athens, Greece on 17 January 2020 [ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images]

Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) revealed two documents on Monday which allegedly prove Khalifa Haftar's involvement in financial corruption. An official GNA media centre posted a copy of the documents on Twitter.

The documents show that one of the economic arms of Haftar's militia, "the Military Investment Authority, took over public land plots and properties [and confiscated] fixed and movable assets of agricultural projects and other investment sites illegally."

The media centre also published additional information and reports, including details of an agreement signed by the "Military Investment Authority" and the National Federation of Italian Fishing Institutions (NFFO) in March 2019. The agreement provides for "securing Italian fishing boats and authorising fishermen to fish in Libyan territorial waters, in exchange for €10,000 [$11,100] per month for a period of five years."

The leaked documents appear to confirm the veracity of a report published in Le Monde in July 2016 titled, "How Haftar controlled Cyrenaica's economy in Libya".

The GNA has evidence from a 2019 report by the Naoura Research Centre that reveals the mechanisms followed by Haftar's militia to take over the economies of areas under its control, in order to gain access to new sources of income.

"Haftar gradually transformed his military capital into an economic one after the liberation of Benghazi in the summer of 2017," said the centre at the time, "which was made possible by the support of regional sponsors, namely Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia."

The report stressed that Haftar used the Military Investment Authority to allocate local resources and obtain loans that burdened the country with huge debts. That is one of the reasons that pushed him to launch the offensive on Tripoli, the same source pointed out.

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