The Libyan Chief of Staff Major-General Yousef Mangoush has ordered an urgent investigation into how a military helicopter was used to shower leaflets onto Benghazi, which called for a popular demonstration, army spokesman Ali Sheikhi told Libya Herald today.
On Mangoush’s instructions, the Air Force is to find out how the helicopter squadron commander in Benina air base in Benghazi permitted the use of one of his aircraft for the stunt.
It is reported that the helicopter took off with the permission from the squadron commander but without a permission from the commander of the air base nor of the Air Force Chief of Staff and the presidency of the General Staff.
The leaflets advertised this weekend’s ‘Friday Libya for All’ rallies that organisers are planning throughout the country.
In a statement, the General Staff demanded all members of the armed forces refrain from participating or assisting in any political activities or popular movements. It said that the military establishment, as a national institution for all Libyan people, had to remain entirely neutral.
“All military personnel are to refrain from participating or assisting in any political activities, public movements for whatever reason. The military institutions must stand at the same distance from everyone and that military personnel must play no role in the political affairs and civil activities” said the statement.
It went on to remind all serving members of the armed forces tht they had to abide by the discipline “ which is the essence of military life.”
It added that under military law, members of the armed forces had the right to express their opinions through their leaders, commanders or concerned departments in writing.
The Chief of Staff’s statement concluded: “Every soldier and non-commissioned officer and officer must therefore, feel the responsibility towards the institution to which they belong and they must all work hard and obediently. They must also appreciate that Libya is rebuilding itself and is in need of intensified efforts for the construction of all state institutions”. [/restrict]