By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 5 November 2013:
Speaking live on tonight’s nine o’clock news on Libya Al-Ahrar TV, Shaban Hadia, . . .[restrict]the head of the Libya Revolutionary Operations Room (LROR) denied that his forces had surrounded the GNC today in order to put pressure on them so as not to dissolve the LROR.
Libya Herald had reported earlier that the LROR had denied this claim. Hadia denied it categorically live on TV.
Earlier in the day confusing rumours had started to circulate that the LROR had surrounded the GNC. However, the LROR immediately released a statement denying this.
The confusion was added to by the loud gunfire heard last night and the shooting incident on the seafront area of Al-Shat – which was a completely separate incident.
“We are not surrounding the GNC. We are just protecting it”, Hadia said to the Al-Ahrar presenter.
When asked to specify who or what they were protecting the GNC against, Hadia said somewhat evasive and refused to clearly identify the threat. Equally, when asked why was it that the LROR had chosen today of all days – the day their possible dissolution was being discussed in the GNC – to protect the GNC; Hadia was adamant that there was a specific threat, but would not identify it.
“There was a threat against the GNC today”, Hadia said. “The GNC security command communicated this to us today”, he added.
The presenter then put it to the LROR head that how come they were not on hand to protect the GNC on other occasions when it was stormed by protestors including yesterday when some members complained that they were terrorized and shots were fired within the GNC building.
Again Hadia was unclear in his answer saying that yesterday’s gunfire incident was a one-off that happened suddenly and ended quickly. He said that the LROR was not requested to provide security yesterday.
Moreover, Hadia distant himself from the incident saying that the LROR had nothing to do with it. Pressed to name those responsible for yesterday’s GNC gun-firing incident, Hadia declined.
When asked if the LROR could be depended upon to defend Tripoli and that they were absent when other security incursions occurred, the LROR head said that the LROR had done much work in protecting the city – work that may not be obviously known to the general public.
Asked if the GNC ultimately votes to dissolve the LROR, would they accept the decision? Hadia retorted that the work they perform was a national duty and that he was happy to give up his role.
Asked why would the LROR not join the official security forces individually, Hadia said that all members were free to join the security forces, and added that he was in full support of the formation of official security forces.
However, he added tellingly, in what could be interpreted by some as a veiled threat, or by others as referring to other outside threats, that as long as those who made the decision to dissolve the LROR accepted the consequences of the decision.
With regards to the GNC’s decision to form an investigative decision into the LD 900 million that was paid to the thuwar groups, including the LROR, Hadia said that he was perfectly happy to cooperate with the committee. “We are ready to account for every penny”, added Hadia.
In fact, Hadia felt that the GNC was not spending adequately on the LROR in order that they can perform their work.