By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 8 November 2016:
Misrata members of the House of Representatives and the State Council have joined forces to demand the Presidency Council, the Central Bank of Libya and the Audit Bureau provide proper funding for the Bunyan Marsous military operation so that it can finish the battle against the so-called Islamic State in Sirte.
“The group of Misrata representatives follow with concern the continued demands by the Bunyan Marsus Operations Room for necessary financial support to run the military operations against Daesh in Sirte,” a statement from them read.
The group comprises Omar Abu Leefa, Hana Al-Arafi, Fathi Bashagha, Suleiman Al-Fagieh, Aisha Ghaliwan, Belgassem Gzeit, Mohamed Hneish, Jamal Karwad, Mohamed Raied, Abdulrahman Sewehli and Mohamed Al-Taib.
The group was formed as the united political block a couple of days ago, despite previous rivalries between some of them. Sewehli, for example, had tried to have Gzeit suspended from the State Council over a visit the latter made to Beida for talks with former GNC members who support Khalifa Hafter. Gzeit also condemned Sewehli’s move in September to declare the State Council as Libya’s sole legislature
The eleven have not gone the full step of creating a Misrata political party – Sewehli still has his Union for Homeland party. Nor is it clear if the bloc created will be able to last. But it is clear that all Misrata’s political leaders feel a strong need at present to defend their city’s interests on the wider Libyan political stage.
In their statement setting up the bloc, the eleven insisted that the Libyan Political Agreement provided the only means to ending the political crisis. They also rejected any move towards military control of the country.
“The civil authority is the supreme authority of the country in accordance to the democratic and constitutional laws,” they said.