By Libya Herald staff
Tripoli, 20 October 2013:
The government has appointed a security supremo in Benghazi to bring peace and stability to the violence-hit city.
It has put Colonel Wanis Bukhamada in charge of all security forces in the city. He is already head of the Saiqa Brigade (special forces) in Benghazi.
Announcing the appointment at his press conference this afternoon, the Prime Minister said that security in Benghazi had been high on the agenda at today’s cabinet meeting, which had been attended by the Chief of Staff, Major General Jadullah Al-Obeidi. Zeidan said that he had been asked to approve Bukhamada’s appointment, and that he had done so. It had the support, he stated, of both the Chief of Staff and the Minister of Defence, Abdullah Al-Thinni.
Benghazi has seen dozens of security officials murdered in the past year, the most recent being the Chief of Libya’s Military Police, Colonel Ahmed Mustafa Al-Barghathi, who was gunned down outside his home on Friday while leaving to go to his local mosque for prayers. The murder unleashed a backlash, with tribesman and supporters then burning down the home of Libya Shield No.1 commander, Wissam Ben Hamid, whom they blamed for the killing, and trying to attack the homes of other Islamist military leaders in the city.
Bukhamada is from Benghazi. Last year he served as military commander of Sebha following the communal clashes in and around the town in which some 147 people died. He was transferred back to Benghazi earlier this year.
He has himself been targeted by militants. Bombs were thrown at his Benghazi home just over a year ago while he was in Sebha but fortunately no one was hurt.