By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 3 November 2013:
Congress today discussed removing the powers of the Libyan Revolutionaries’ Operations Room (LROR) which last month was involved in kidnapping . . .[restrict]of the Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. It also agreed to set up separate committees to investigate Zeidan’s abduction and the payment of LD 900 million to fund the LROR and other militia.
In what some will see as a check for the President of Congress, Nuri Abu Sahmain, his role as Commander-in-Chief also came under scrutiny although no decision was made about it.
At the session, some 70 members of Congress supported withdrawing the LROR’s mandate to secure Tripoli, which it granted only four months ago. However, contrary to earlier reports, no decision was taken on the LROR’s role either, or its future.
The 70 members were specifically focused on the LROR’s role in Tripoli, not its existence, Beida Congresswoman Zeinab Haroun Al-Targi told the Libya Herald. “It is not the GNC’s business to disband the LROR,” she said, adding: “But it can discuss and control its tasks.”
During the televised proceedings, the increasingly embattled Abu Sahmain told Congress that the LROR had come into being as a result of four days of talks with Zeidan and the Ministers of Defence and the Interior. In these discussion, he stated, the government had agreed that it lacked the resources to secure the capital. He also said that the heads of the GNC’s own National Security and Defence committees, Abdulmonem Al-Yaser and Abdulnasser Aseklani, had also been involved in talks to “develop a mechanism to secure the city”.
Views in the heated debate ranged from those who wanted the LROR closed down to others opposed to any change in its mandate. However, there appeared to be growing consensus that it should be allowed to continue, but depoliticised and removed from the control of the President of Congress and handed over to the Chief of Staff.