By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 29 March 2017:
A statement purporting to come from the ministry of religious endowments and Islamic affairs denying that registration for the 2017 Haj season was to begin has been dismissed as “a mistake” by Haj authorities in Tripoli.
The statement followed an announcement last week by the Presidency Council’s Haj authorities that online applications to register for the lottery to decide those who can perform the Haj in Mecca this year would start today, 29 March.
Yesterday, a counter-statement appeared, ostensibly from the Haj ministry, saying that so far there had been no declaration about the registration for the pilgrimage.
According to one official, the second statement came from ministry staff opposed to the Presidency Council and who support the so-called “Government of National Salvation” headed by Khalifa Ghwell. Other officials more generously said that it had been issued by staff who were unaware of what was happening. These latter have told the Libya Herald that there was no split and that the apparent division was now resolved.
“They are colleagues at the end of the day but just seem to not have previous experience in running Haj seasons,” an official in the administration said.
He added that the second announcement lacked any signatures and stamps “which means that those who issued the announcement have no responsibility”.