By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 24 August 2014:
The House of Representatives today appointed new Chief of Staff. Colonel Abdul Razzaq Nazhuri replaces Major-General . . .[restrict]Abdussalam Jadallah Obeidi who was summonsed for questioning by HoR members last week over allegations that he had backed Operation Libya Dawn in the capital.
The General Staff, however, are refusing to accept the order.
In a letter issued in Tripoli this evening, the General Staff, which said it had met today at Mitiga Airbase, reiterated its support for Obeidi saying that it would not recognise the authority of the House of Representatives. Declaring that it would not be “dragged into political disputes”, the General Staff “justified” its decision to continue supporting Obeidi and reject the HoR on the basis that Tobruk was in the hands of Hafter forces and therefore outwith its control.
The statement called Khalifa Hafter a ”criminal” saying that he and everyone who supported his Operation Dignity or was involved in the so-called “Libyan National Army” which he leads would be pursued and brought to justice. They were enemies of the 17 February Revolution, General Staff said. So too, they said, were those who had been involved in the aerial attacks on Operation Dawn positions in the capital and destroyed Libyan infrastructure. They indicted that they believed the raids were carried out by foreign aircraft.
Members of the armed forces, the General Staff statement added, had to support the revolutionaries.
The statement also appeared to confirm the HoR’s assertions about Obeidi by signalling that the Libya Dawn operation in Tripoli was authorised by him. It spoke of him being responsible for the revolutionaries’ “victories” in the capital.
The statement appears to make clear the effective split in the armed forces. However, it is reported in Tobruk that Obeidi has agreed to step down.
Naduri, from Marj, was one of seven candidates considered for the post of Chief of Staff by the House. General Khalifa Hafter was not on the list – according to a source in the House because of concerns about his past and that he would be too divisive.
Nadouri is, however, a Dignity commanders; his son was killed in one of the early Dignity operations.
Meanwhile, there is no news on whether Khalid Sharif, the deputy Minister of Defence, has rejected his dismissal. In a leaked letter from the Prime Minister yesterday, he was sacked on the basis that he had left the county without permission and was not carrying out his duties. The decision is said to follow a request from parliament that Sharif, widely credited as being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, be dismissed. [/restrict]