By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 5 January:
Introducing the Chief of Staff Yousef Mangoush at Thursday’s press conference, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan opened by saying . . .[restrict]“I take this opportunity to salute members of the army who have resumed their work. I have given instructions that all personnel must return to work otherwise we will take all necessary steps. We don’t want to do this, but we will if we have to. Refusing to return to work is unacceptable”
Zeidan was referring to the thousands of security personnel from the army or police who are receiving their salaries but refuse to return to work after the end of the fighting and the revolution.
Mangoush said: “There was a conspiracy before the 17 February Revolution to destroy the army. It had no equipment, no basic supplies or training. It had its allegiance directed to a dictator and not a nation.
“Now we are taking a number of steps to activate the army and reorganize it. We want an army to protect the constitution, the nation and its citizens based on democracy and legitimacy”.
Unveiling his vision for Libya’s new army, Mangoush said that Libya will have “a small army but with high specifications and using modern technology and well trained personnel capable to deal with any threats”.
Mangoush said that refurbishment of some barracks and military installations had already started in line with his new plans. He admitted that the army had to work with what it had as a result of the destruction of sites and equipment during the revolution.
He admitted that Libya needed help from friendly countries training its armed forces, saying about 3,000 men have been sent for training abroad so far.
“We have presented our proposals to the General National Congress (GNC) Committee to present our needs and to ask that a White Paper be prepared by the end of this month. We need certain quantities of jets, helicopters and naval units to ensure our defences. After 15 months all sites should have been refurbished and there is also a plan for the airports,” Mangoush explained.
“The revolutionaries will be the building block of the army. There is a lot of work to be done and we face many challenges. Our aim has been set and our plan is in place,” Mangoush concluded. [/restrict]