By Jamel Adel.
Tripoli, 18 February 2014:
The President of General National Congress, Nuri Abu-Sahmain, and the Deputy President, Salah Al Makhzoum, flew . . .[restrict]into Tamenhint airbase yesterday afternoon to get an up-to-date assessment of the security situation in Sebha ahead of Thursday’s Constitutional Committee elections
After touring the town, they met with members of Sebha Local Council and Jamal Al-Treiki, the commander of the Misrata-led “Third Force” which is trying to enforce peace in Sebha, as well as with the town’s military commander, Mohamed Albusaify, and Colonel Ali Qarman representing the South Operations Room. The head of Misrata Local Council, Ismail Shaklawan, and Sebha and Misrata Shoura Council members were also present at the meeting.
The “Third Force” media spokesperson in Sebha, Ala Al-Huwaik, told the Libya Herald that it was now in control of Tamenhint airbase, Brak Al-Shatti airbase and Sebha’s historic castle.
“It may seem we’re doing the job slowly, but it will be effective in the long-term,” Al-Huwaik said. “Sebha is now 80-percent safe. We made a plan and it is progressing smoothly so far. In the next few weeks, it will be totally secure. Then we head off down to secure other towns further south.”
The head of Sebha Local Council, Ayoub Al-Zaroug, meanwhile said that it had requested a separate meeting with Abu Sahmain to discus the town’s security problems, but had had to make do with a general gathering. He added that the council had proposed renaming Tamanhint airbase after an Ali Treiki, a member of the Third Force who died liberating it last month from Qaddafi supporters.
There have been concerns that, because of insecurity in Sebha as well as in Kufra, Thursday’s elections might not be able to be held in the two places. However, HNEC’s head of media and communications for Sebha Brak Al-Shatti constituency, Ramadan Karanfuda, told this paper that in his area, polling at the 62 stations, two of them for displaced people, would go ahead. “We’ve put together a plan in coordination with Sebha Local Council, Sebha Security Room and the Third Force to organise and secure the elections”.
A member of Kufra Local Council also told this paper today that everything was in place for the elections there and that they would certainly go ahead. [/restrict]