By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 27 September 2014:
Chief of Staff Abdul Razzaq Nazhuri has called on all . . .[restrict]eastern troops and officers to report for duty and return to their requisite units.
Nazhuri said troops affiliated with the regular ground forces and Saiqa Special Forces should report to Tokra, Beida and Abiar. He added that air force personnel in Labraq, air defence units including those in the Jabal Akhdar and eastern naval forces should also be on alert, Bowabat Al-Wasat reported.
He asked men who had joined the revolutionary brigades aligned with the government, but who had not enrolled officially in the armed forces, to do so immediately. He ordered different units to submit their enrolment registers to be checked by the competent authorities.
The Commander of Saiqa Special Forces Wanis Bukhamada has said he will not pay those under his command unless they enrol officially in the armed forces. He said he hoped this would work as an incentive to further legitimise the force.
Bukhamada said the decision was made at an emergency meeting of Special Forces leaders. It was felt that with Eid approaching, service personnel would not want to miss the opportunity for pay.
He added that the families of Saqia’s martyrs would be provided for over the religious festival.
Ten days ago Nazhuri gave troops just over two weeks to return to their bases, adding that those who did not comply with the orders would receive strong sanctions.
He called on the Libyan youth and the “Salafist brethren”, who have found themselves under attack by Ansar Al-Sharia and its allies in the east of the country, to join the army.
The call to arms was viewed as a response to an upswing in violence in the west of the country.
The appointment of Nazhuri to the job of Chief of Staff was a sign of the increasingly close alliance between Operation Dignity and the House of Representatives. Nazhuri, a commander within the Dignity Operation, is now nominally in charge of the Tobruk-based Karama (Dignity) forces and answerable to the House of Representatives.
Nazhuri’s selection led Operation Dignity to declare that it was the legitimate Libyan Army, a claim it has made since it began its mission this May to rid Benghazi, in particular, of Islamists forces.
However the appointment of Nazhuri caused a split within the armed forces, with the previous Chief of Staff, Major-General Abdussalam Jadallah Obeidi, repeatedly claiming his dismissal was illegitimate.