By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 14 June 2015:
Eight Tunisians working in Tripoli were apparently seized today, 48 hours after the Tunisian consulate . . .[restrict]in the capital was stormed by gunmen and ten staff abducted.
This second mass kidnapping is also thought to be linked to Thursday’s refusal by a Tunisian court to release Walid Al-Ghleib, a senior Libya Dawn commander whom the Tunisians have charged with terrorism offences. When Ghleib was first arrested last month some 250 Tunisians were seized in retaliation. Seemingly because of the intervention of the Tripoli “government” now headed by Khalifa Ghwell, the kidnapped Tunisians were all released over the course of two weeks.
The Ghwell regime has been assuring Tunis that the consulate staff are in good health and that it is working for their release. Ghwell’s interior minister Mohamed Barghathi, who is also 2nd Deputy Prime Minister, has been quoted as saying the kidnappers were “stupid”. “We have been pressing for foreign ambassadors to return,” he said, “and these people, they are wrecking it all. They don’t want the country to be stable”.
Meanwhile, UNSMIL chief Bernardino Leon said that he strongly condemned the storming of the Tunisian consulate and demanded immediate and unconditional release of the diplomats.
Leon said that the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises had to be respected. He added: “This unacceptable act is a further reminder of the chaos engulfing Libya and the need for Libyans to end the ongoing conflict and to move quickly towards reaching a political agreement that would restore security and stability to their country”. [/restrict]