By Ayman Amzein.
Benghazi, 13 March 2016:
More than a thousand people turned up to the new passport office in Benghazi, this afternoon . . .[restrict]for its first day of business. Hopeful applicants started arriving around 1pm even though the office was not due to open until 4pm.
The new building, replacing the one in the city centre damaged in fighting, was officially opened on Thursday afternoon by interim government interior minister Mohamed Al-Madani. Also at the ceremony were the head of the passport administration for the eastern region, Colonel Muftah Agheal, Counter Crime Agency head Colonel Salah Huwaydi, the head of the Benghazi passport branch Colonel Muftah Bukraes and Benghazi mayor Omar Barasi.
Today’s huge tide of applicants was expected but was still far more than the 400-a-day that the new office says it can deal with.
The office deals with Benghazi residents only. Another office in the city’s Ras Obeida district serves residents from the rest of Cyrenaica.
For the moment, registrations for appointments for passport applications are still being manually. The aim is that they should start being electronic within a matter of weeks. [/restrict]