Benghazi, 19 November 2013:
A temporary media silence has been placed on the Benghazi Joint Security Room (BJSR) which is currently between . . .[restrict]spokespersons.
Abdullah Zaidi, spokesperson since August this year, stopped working for the BJSR yesterday afternoon. He said he resigned from the post because the new BJSR Commander, Abdullah Al-Saiti, had not spoken to him for 20 days. This, Zaidi said, made his job very difficult as it meant he could not easily access information.
Apparently a new spokesperson has been appointed but it is not yet known who this is or when he will take up his role, a member of the BJSR – speaking on condition of anonymity – told the Libya Herald. He added that there would be a ‘media silence’ on the BJSR until the new spokesperson was in place.
Zaidi had taken over from previous spokesman Mohamed Hejazi who was sacked in August for reasons that were never made public. It is understood that Hejazi’s increasingly outspoken frustration – including speaking out against the government and General National Congress (GNC)’s lack of support for Benghazi at a critical time – may have played a role.
Hejazi’s comments were recently echoed by members of Benghazi Air Force who said that, despite being high-risk targets for assassination attempts, they have received no training, equipment or financial support.
It is understood that Prime Minister Ali Zeidan discussed these issues with high-ranking military personnel on a recent visit to Benghazi. Although the meetings were closed to the media, a military source told the Libya Herald that Zeidan was apparently quizzed about why untrained and dangerous militias across the country received ample funding whilst all of the Air Force’s eastern bases were desperately unfunded. [/restrict]