Is Turkey Breaching the Libya Geneva Agreement?


The Turkish army will continue to train the armed forces of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in five centres across western Libya, the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak revealed.

The newspaper noted that more than 2,000 GNA-aligned soldiers have been trained on using air defence systems, launching mortar shells, removing mines, and carrying out advanced surveillance tasks.

The newspaper pointed out that Turkey has provided special training to the Special Forces, and the members of the Libyan Coast Guard. It also indicated that such exercises last from 4-6 weeks.

“About 30 members of the Libyan Ministry of Interior are also receiving special operations training. Approximately 500 Libyan police candidates are also scheduled to receive training as well,” the newspaper noted.

It added that nearly 1,000 soldiers are receiving their education in Turkey. A further 200+ students are enrolled in the military schools of the National Defence University in Istanbul.

Last month, a video published by the GNA’s ‘Volcano of Rage’ operation’s room showed Libyan forces carrying out military exercises in Turkey. The exercises were reported to have included 160 GNA soldiers as part of a five-month comprehensive training programme.

In October, Libya’s warring parties agreed to “Establish a military subcommittee to oversee the withdrawal of military forces to their respective bases, and the departure of foreign forces from the front lines,” said acting UN Envoy to Libya, Stephanie Williams.

The agreement also called for military deals on training inside Libya to be frozen, and for foreign military advisors to leave the country. It did not name a particular country, although this is thought to refer to Turkey.