By Libya Herald reporters.
Benghazi, 28 February 2017:
Khalifa Hafter appeared tonight to be reconciled with his dissident commander Colonel Faraj Al-Barasi whom he has twice fired and who a fortnight ago himself resigned after his Beida farm was attacked.
The armed forces commander-in-chief has reportedly had supper with Barasi at which the two men have settled their differences. It is understood their meeting was brokered by Ali Gatrani, the boycotting member of the Presidency Council who is from the east and a friend of Hafter.
It is likely that Hafter will also have come under renewed pressure to bury the hatchet from Barasi’s Barasa tribe along with the Drasa, Hasa and Ubaydat. It was their lobbying which twice twice obliged him to revoke his sacking of his controversial commander.
In May 2015 Hafter fired Barasi as head of the operation to recapture Benghazi’s Sabri district, on the grounds that the colonel was not being sufficiently aggressive. Barasi complained that his men lacked ammunition.
After tribal protests, in June 2015 he was given command of the operation to secure Derna from IS. However, it was the Derna Revolutionaries Shoura Council that ejected IS terrorists. Meanwhile, Hafter’s people accused Barasi of making unauthorised contacts with politicians and of disobeying orders. He was sacked a second time but once again, in response to tribal pressure, taken back though he was not given another frontline command.
It was when at the start of this month, Barasi’s Beida farmhouse home was twice attacked by armed men thought to be connected with Hafter, that the colonel announced that he was quitting. He blamed Hafter for the assaults during which he said property was stolen or damaged.
It was reported that Barasi had been in Egypt at the time of the attacks. He was pictured today with Gatrani in Beida. His right leg was in plaster and he was walking on crutches.
Shortly after the attacks on Barasi’s home, it was reported that Hafter’s nephew Belghasem Hafter had been kidnapped. The LNA has refused all comment on the alleged abduction.