By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 9 May 2016:
Khalifa Ghwell, who was appointed prime minister by the now vanished General National Congress, continues . . .[restrict]to act as if he is still in post. Although most of the ministries in Tripoli are now under the control of the Presidency Council and some of his colleagues have transferred allegiance to it, has been holding cabinet meetings with a small group of continuing “ministers” and issuing directives.
Yesterday, there were orders to the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) and the finance ministry to pay public salaries for the past two months as well as approval of the social affairs authority’s budget.
Almost certainly, neither will see the light of day. The CBL has switched to the Presidency Council and in a Libya with three government, all largely powerless, the Ghwell one is the most powerless of all – and has been for months.
One decision, however, could complicate matters. On Thursday, Ghwell formed its own central region operations room to liberate Sirte, appointing Brigadier Mahmoud Zagal in charge along with nine other members. It becomes the third operations room aimed at freeing the town from Islamic State (IS) control, the others being the operations room under Colonel Idris Al-Madi under with the Libyan National Army led by General Khalifa Hafter and the operations room set up last week by the Presidency Council. The latter is led by Brigadier Bashir Al-Gadi.
The Ghwell operations room is unlikely to be of any effect for two reasons.
Firstly, Zagal had already supposedly been in charge of operations in the central region under the Ghwell “government” but achieved no success even when he had full support of Misratan forces. In February, Ghwell told the Libya Herald “we‘re planning to launch an offensive against it [IS] in Sirte within a few days.”
The second reason is that Zagal has no support from Misratan forces of any military significance. According to a Misratan commander a few days ago, Zagal had been sacked and was no longer recognised. [/restrict]