By Saber Ayyub.
Tripoli, 9 March 2016:
The Dar Al-Ifta (“Fatwa House”) run by Sadik Al-Ghariani, Libya’s grand mufti as recognised by the . . .[restrict]Tripoli regime, has called on all Libyans to head to Benghazi and join the “brothers” there fighting against the Libyan National Army under Khalifa Hafter. In a statement published on its Facebook page and broadcast on Ghariani’s Tanasuh TV channel, it condemned the current offensive against the anti-Hafter forces in the city, claiming that Hafter and his supporters were trying to reinstate the former regime. It also told tribes leading figures in Cyrenaica that they had to break with him.
It also ordered the General National Congress and the Ghwell administration in Tripoli to provide the revolutionaries in Benghazi and Derna with “all the necessary resources” they needed for the fight, including field hospitals.
The call is seen as Ghariani’s strongest so far in support not merely of the revolutionaries in Benghazi but also of Ansar Al-Sharia. It dominates the Bengahzi Revolutionaries’ Shoura Council and the various brigades that are members of it through its control pf the purse strings and the supply of munitions that have come into the city. The so-called Islamic State (IS) has been much less active in Benghazi but its role has been magnified both by itself and the LNA, largely for propapaganda purposes. There is now a general tenedency to label all Islamist extremists in the city as IS.
Turning to the wider Libyan crisis, the Dar Al-Ifta statement hailed the “Libya-Libya” dialogue involving the remnants of the General National Congress and a handful of House of Representatives members, saying it provided the only solution to avoid the division and destruction of the country.
Ghariani himself has considently condemned the UN-brokered Libya Dialogue process.
The statement also called on revolutionary brigades in Tripoli and from other towns to secure the capital. However, in what is said to be a clear reference to Misrata, it also told them that they must never protect any criminals simply because they came from their own city.
In November, Gharani said Misratan had to quit Tripoli.
Today’s statement further called on the governor of the Central Bank and managers of commercial banks to end the cash shortage and so improve ordinary people’s lives. [/restrict]