By Moutaz Ali
Tripoli, 4 June 2016:
In an indication that Benghazi is far from united politically or militarily, Mahdi Barghathi, defence minister . . .[restrict]in the Government of National Accord (GNA), has rejected moves by the Beida-based government of Abdullah Al-Thinni to suppress the anti-terrorist and the security forces in the city.
Both support Barghathi.
Speaking at a press conference in Benghazi today, Barghathi said that such decisions would only cause further dissension within the Libyan army.
Yesterday, Thinni’s internal minister Mohamed Al-Madani Al-Fakhri ordered the disbandment of the two forces commanded by Salah Abu Laghib and Faraj Gaeim, both of whom back the GNA.
Bargathi also said that the creation of the “Defence Brigade of Benghazi” by former members of militias that were part of the Benghazi Revolutionaries’ Shoura Council was illegitimate and it would be viewed as yet another terrorist organisation, especially given that it had given its allegiance to the controversial Sadek Al-Ghariani, Libya’s grand mufti in the eyes of supporters of the former Tripoli regime.
To those in the east opposed to him joining the GNA, Barghathi said his prime aim was to save the unity of the country. Libyans in east and west of the county, he added, had to accept one another if they wanted to avoid a civil war.