By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 21 June 2016:
Backing for the “Benghazi Defence Brigades” and its attack last Saturday on Ajdabiya has come from the so-called Government of National Salvation led by Khalifa Ghwell.
This third would-be government continues to meet in Tripoli and issue directives despite the presence in the city of the internationally-recognised Presidency Council and its Government of National Accord. However, not only has it been consistently ignored by the international community since the outset, it is now ignored by most of the militias that once backed it.
In its statement, it claimed that the BDB was a valid body and part of the Libyan army. Its aim was to free Ajdabiya and Benghazi from followers of the former Qaddafi regime – a reference to General Khaifa Hafter and the Libyan National Army. It described him as a criminal, accusing him of responsibility for “dozens of murders” in Benghazi, of being behind the wave of assassinations that took place there in 2012 and 2013 in order to destabilise the city, of running secret prisons in the city, and of being allied to the so-called Islamic State.
It also denounced the Presidency Council’s statement which had condemned the BDB as terrorists, saying that that in any event the Presidency was in a state of collapse but would be held responsible for the deteriorating situation in the country.
Support for the BDB has also come from Ghwell’s ally, Sadik Ghariani, as well as from two Islamist members of the Presidency, Mohammed Al-Ammari and Abdussalam Kajman.