By Moutaz Mathi,
Tripoli, 22 September 2o16:
Faraj Gaeim, who was sacked as head of Benghazi’s Special Operations Office three months ago and the unit supressed after he remained loyal to Mahdi Barghathi, the defence minister in the Presidency Council’s Government of National Accord, has now switched sides.
In a video accompanied by some of his soldiers, Gaeim has declared that his force is non-partisan but loyal to the General Command leadership of the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Hafter and under the authority of the House of Representatives (HoR).
While remaining loyal to Barghathi, Gaeim represented a major obstacle to Hafter and the LNA’s command structure. Like Barghathi a member of the Aguri, his opposition threatened to undermine the tribe’s support for the LNA.
Gaeim’s change of mind is seen as significantly weakening Barghathi’s influence in Benghazi