Tripoli, 4 May 2013:
The Office of the General Chief of Staff, Major-General Yousef Mangoush, has insisted that it is “neutral and . . .[restrict]unbiased” in the current events relating to the Political Isolation Law which is to be voted on by Congress tomorrow. It says that its role is to keep the peace and maintain security.
It is not clear if the statement, issued today, means that the General Command is neutral about implementing the law, which would see Qaddafi regime officials banned from holding senior office, or whether it is neutral about the actions of the militias which have laid siege to the Foreign, Interior, Justice and Electricity Ministries.
In its statement, it says that neither the armed forces nor any of its personnel has “any involvement in the political activities currently taking place in Libya”. It goes on to say that if anyone connected to the Chief of Staff does become involved in any political activities and does so while wearing a military uniform or using army insignia, he would be violating military regulations and could be held legally accountable.
There have been allegations in the past 48 hours that members of armed forces have been supporting the militias besieging the ministries. There have even been claims, particularly from Zintan, that Mangoush himself was connected to the action. But these have been without any corroboration.