By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 22 January 2016:
In what is being seen as a bid to ensure that militias in Tripoli remain loyal . . .[restrict]to the regime there, the “prime minister” of the National Salvation Government Khalifa Ghwell has told them that all fighters will receive a bonus of LD 1,500 each and that their salaries will be doubled once the budget for 2016 has been approved.
The announcement followed a meeting between Ghwell and a number of militia leaders.
There have been persistent reports in recent days that some militias in Tripoli have decided to work with the new UN-endorsed Government of National Accord led by prime minister-designate Faiez Serraj. Several army leaders previously loyal to the Tripoli regime have already jumped ship, seen in the appointment of a number of them to the Presidency Council’s security team. It is headed by Brigadier-General Abdurrahman Attawil who was a support commander for the army linked to the Tripoli regime.
In an attempt to stem the haemorrhaging, Ghwell ordered their arrest but, in his powerless position, it has had no effect.
It is not clear where the money for the extra militia payments will come from. Militiamen in the capital are paid between LD 1,500 and LD 3,000 a month. However, the Tripoli authorities, like those Beida, are severely strapped for cash and the governor of the Central Bank of Libya has warned that at the present rate of drawdown on cash reserves it will not be able to pay public sector salaries in six months’ time.
As such the offer is seen as more a hope than a reality.
In a similar move, Ghwell’s cabinet, meeting in Khoms today, announced approval for a major road construction project in Tajoura. [/restrict]