By Libya Herald staff.
Benghazi, 28 June 2015:
The head of the Libyan armed forces, General Khalifa Hafter, has performed a U-turn on . . .[restrict]the dismissal of Derna Operations Room commander Colonel Faraj Barasi, agreeing he should stay in post.
The latest move follows a meeting between Hafter and the president of the House of Representatives, Ageela Salah Gwaider, who had appointed Barasi to the job after Hafter had previously dismissed him as a military commander in Benghazi. Gwaider did so following pressure from the Barasa tribe. He is reported to have again been subject to the same pressure to keep the colonel in his post.
Confirming Barasi’s reappointment to the Derna Operations Room, the head of the Libya air force, Air Force General Saqr Geroushi told the Libya Herald that Barasi would, however, be closely monitored to ensure that he was obeying orders and that an inventory of the weaponry provided to him would be kept. The position and person of Barasi was “not important” he further declared.
He said that it was not for any tribe to dictate military policy or appointments. That was the job of the general command. But, he added, Indicating that there had been a compromise, “we appreciate the Barasa”. They had supported Operation Dignity, he said, and “because of the tribe” Barasi would not be sacked.
Today’s battle at Ain Mara with Derna’s Abu Sleem Brigade in which 15 solders died is, however, likely to be held against Barasi by general command although he and his supporters may well try to turn it against Hafter, accusing him of undermining the LNA at a critical point. [/restrict]