Libya Tribune

By Khaled Mahmoud

Armed groups and forces, registered under Libya’s interior ministry, are dominating the decision making process in political and economic fields in Tripoli, according to the Interior Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fathi Bashagha.

Bashagha told BBC on Friday that armed forces don’t follow the orders of the interior ministry or those of the GNA, adding that they have their own budget and agendas and nobody can stand in their way.

The Minister also indicated that those forces, which he did not specify, have some kind of hegemony in the decision making of the government in all fields, including politics, security and economy.

Security apparatuses of the ministry are abiding by the laws, and the Minister refused to call them militias, adding that other armed groups are causing chaos.

The rare confessions of a high-ranking official in GNA, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj and backed by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), come as the Libyan attorney general issued arrest warrants for 37 suspects over attacks on key oil ports in the east of the country and a military base in the south.

The warrants showed that 31 members of the Chadian and Sudanese opposition based in Libya, along with six Libyan nationals, are wanted for attacks on the oil ‘crescent’ in the east of the country and on the Tamanhint military base, as well as for their participation in fighting between Libyan rivals.

The Libyan suspects include Abdul Hakim Belhadj, who was the commander of a former Libyan armed group, and now chairs a political party and owns an airline and a space station.

Last year, UK apologized to Belhadj and his wife over the role of British intelligence officers in their 2004 rendition from Thailand to Libya.

Meanwhile, German Ambassador to Libya Oliver Owcza said on Saturday that his country would support the political efforts of UNSMIL in the UN Security Council.

“For the next two years Germany is a member of the UN Security Council. With and for Libya we will use this responsibility to support UNSMIL’s leadership in steering an inclusive political process, advocating unity of the international community and supporting economic development,” the ambassador tweeted.

According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Libya, three rehabilitated police training facilities in Tripoli were inaugurated during the past year.

The facilities were: the Police Technical School, the Judicial Police Training Institute and the Police College.

In a brief statement, the program explained that the UN announced the launch of a training programme for 1500 police and 330 judicial police officers.

Meanwhile, Algerian foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel said on Twitter that the recent measures taken by Libyans for security coordination are a positive step for the unification of Libyan institutions.

We encourage them to persevere on this path of dialogue, the only way to allow return of stability in Libya.” In other news, the Ministry of Interior issued a statement condemning reports of harassment, violent attacks and threats to journalists by some who identify themselves to be affiliated to the Ministry.

The ministry called on all journalists to submit formal complaints to the ministry to follow up the facts in a formal and legal manner, noting that it will hold meetings with media and human rights organizations, to discuss the matter.

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ASHARQ AL-AWSAT