(February 9) A number of different armed groups mainly from Misrata have announced the formation of the Libyan National Guards (LNG). Reports claim that dozens of Misratan vehicles entered the capital Tripoli overnight.
|According to the Libya Herald the Guards are backing Khalifa Ghwell. Ghwell is the former prime minister of the former National Salvation government that was a rival to the then internationally-recognized government of the House of Representatives (HoR). After the Libyan Political Agreement(LPA) signed in Skhirat Morocco in December of 2015, the Salvation government was weakened. Neither it nor the HoR government recognized the GNA. However, many from the Salvation Government eventually joined the GNA as part of the High State Council. They met as the former General National Congress, the legislature of the Salvation Govenrment, dissolved it and then met as the High State Council. The GNA seized many ministries and militia loyal to the GNA seized the Rixos complex which was the headquarters of the GNC.|
“We will work on the protection of the state facilities and will guard the borders of Libya. We will fight the chaos caused by the spread of arms and shall defend all embassies and foreign diplomatic missions, in addition to our participation in fighting the illegal migration.”The Presidency Council of the GNA has assigned these tasks to the new Presidential Guard. Just 3 days ago the EU applauded the deployment of the first units of the Guard. According to the Libya Herald the LNG is said to be under the authority of the remnants of the GNC the coup plotters led by Khalifa Ghwell.
The Libyan National Guard was formed by the General National Congress in 2015. Military sources close to LNG confirmed that the new established force would not operate under the Salvation Government.It is surprising that the Observer would report that the LNG would not operate under the auspices of the Salvation Government since it, unlike the Herald, was favorable to that government on the whole. It certainly seems that the Guards do not recognize the GNA and is not linked to the eastern HoR government. Unless it recognizes the GNC Salvation government it hardly can claim any authority to guard borders or protect diplomats. It is amazing that the GNA has allowed the coup plotters to remain in control of their headquarters since last October without making any move to dislodge them. With this new development the GNA will be forced to once and for all defeat the group using force.