By Moutaz Mathi.
Tripoli 30 June, 2016:
The Yarmouk barracks in Tripoli’s Salahadeen district, previously used as the defence ministry’s main operating base, has been formally handed over to Government of the National Accord defence minister Colonel Mahdi Al-Barghathi.
Walking along a red carpet which had been specially laid out in the spruced-up camp, he and Presidency Council member Fathi Al-Majbri shook hands with a row of senior army officers at the start of the formal handover.
“The GNA option is the only peaceful choice for Libyans for stability. All other options are taking the country to new civil wars,” he said in a short speech in which he called on all Libyans any military groupings to support the GNA and help his ministry build up the legitimate armed forces in Libya.
He added that attempts try and take over the country by force would fail.
This is seen as reference both to the so-called Islamic State and to General Khalifa Hafter.
Majbri was more direct in criticising Hafter, although he did not mention him by name. He spoke of military officers who were trying very hard to impose their will on the country and convince people of the need to return to military rule as under the Qaddafi regime.
Acknowledging that the defence ministry was facing challenges to draw in all various military factions under its control, he added that the peaceful handover of the barracks was a significant boost for the GNA but that the country was living in critical times.