By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 24 January 2017:
The leader of the Misrata-led forces in the south, Jamal Treiki, has accused Libyan National Army forces of fabricating reports suggesting his Third Force militias were preventing aid being delivered to the region.
Treiki told Tanasah TV channel that elders from the south were making concerted efforts to convince the commander of the LNA forces in the south, Mohamed Ben Nayel, to open the roads connecting the south to the northwest to allow fuel and goods to be delivered. Treiki appeared to blame the LNA for the blockages.
However, the mayor of Brak Al-Shatti, Nassir Saeed Salim, recently told the Libya Herald that it was the Third Force who was responsible for stopping the delivery of fuel to the south.
Treiki accused media outlets of dishonesty and fabricating reports.
“While our forces work hard to secure the delivery of petrol and aid to the area, the media related to the authorities in the east are continuing to broadcast false news and they lay the blame on us over the deteriorating living conditions in the south,” he said.
The two rival forces have been competing for control of southern regions for some time now.
Recently, the LNA made significant gains in the region and replaced the Third Force from Brak Al-Shatti airbase. Some in the south, including elders, activists and residents of Sebha and its neighbouring towns, have demanded the Third Force leave the south.
At the beginning of last December, the Third Force claimed they would leave the Fezzan region. However, only a few weeks later, they appeared to change their minds when they alerted their troops to stay ready and prepared to fight.
In related news, residents of Sebha held protests today demanding Obari power station finally be completed to help ease the electricity problems that have shattered the south in recent weeks. Last week the mayor of Sebha, Hamed Rafeh, told the Libya Herald that the Presidency Council’s Government of National Accord lacked the power to solve the power problems in the south.