By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 9 March 2015:
Khalifa Hafter has been officially sworn in as head of the Libyan armed forces at . . .[restrict]a ceremony in Tobruk today.
He was named Commander General of the Libyan National Army and promoted to Lieutenant General by the President of House of Representatives (HoR), Ageela Saleh Gwaider last week.
Today’s ceremony took place at the town’s naval base amid heavy security. It was attended by Gwaider, members of the HoR and top military figures including the Chief of Staff, Abdul Razzaq Al-Nazhuri and Air Force Commander Saqr Adam Geroushi.
Ahead of the ceremony, security in the town was intense in case Ansar Al-Sharia tried an attack. Roads leading into it were sealed off, there was sea patrols and checkpoints in the streets.
According to Faraj Buhashim, the HoR spokesman, Hafter took an oath of loyalty to serve the country and the HoR.
There had been opposition within the HoR, led by its Defence and National Security Committee deputy chairman, Mosab Al-Abed, to Hafter’s appointment by Gwaider. This was partly because members felt that only the House as a whole could make the appointment, and partly because of anti-Hafter sentiments within the legislature.
Hafter’s forces are still fighting against Ansar Al-Sharia in Benghazi’s Suq Al-Hout, Gwarsha and Hawari district as well as in Leithi where a growing IS contingent is also reported. During the past 24 hours there has been repeated heavy artillery fire in the first three areas.
In Gwarsha and Hawari, there were unconfirmed reports last week that Ansar forces had been resupplied and reinforced, allegedly by boat from Misrata to the small Elmresa port at Gunfudah. [/restrict]