Monday, September 12, 2016

Libyan PM names commanders of the Presidential Guard

Prime Minister of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and head of the Presidential Council (PC) Faiez Serraj has finally named commanders of the much delayed Presidential Guard.

The formation of the Presidential Guard was announced last May. The group is a new military force that is designed to protect government buildings, vital installations, and VIPs. The force is to be Tripoli-based but will include members of both the police and army from different regions of Libya. Significantly, members of militia groups are not mentioned. It will provide security at public buildings and presidential complexes as well as protect members of the government and "notable guests" of the country.
PM Faiez Serraj, named Colonel Najmi Al-Nakua, along with colonels Abu Lagri and Ibrahim Bilad as his deputies. It has taken almost four months to make the appointments. The composition of the Guard has been a matter of concern with Misratan forces in particular wanting the Guard to be mostly if not all Misratans.
No information has been released as to how many have been recruited into the force, or when it will become active.. Several countries have offered training for the force. Recently the Ministry of Intelligence headquarters were occupied by a militia group without any significant resistance showing the need for such a force. The appointment of Nakua was made in the name of the PC as the commander in chief of Libyan armed forces as set out in the Libya Political Agreement (LPA). General Haftar president of the Libyan National Army(LNA) of the House of Representatives (HoR) government refuses to recognize the PC as commander in chief of Libyan armed forces.
The Presidential Council were supposed to have presented a new cabinet to the HoR as of Wednesday but there is no sign that the choices have even been made yet. The last meeting of the PC had only 4 of 9 members present. Serraj went to Sirte yesterday for a photo op with BAM forces in the city as the IS is now cornered in a small area of their last remaining stronghold in Libya.


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