By Hadi Fornaji.
Tunis, 5 July 2016:
In a surprise move, the Presidency Council has appointed former prime minister Abdurrahim Al-Kib as Libya’s ambassador to the UN, replacing Ibrahim Dabbashi who has been in post since July 2013.
The move has drawn some disapproval, notably from Kib’s former health minister Nagi Barakat who questioned his competence for the job.
In recent months, Dabbashi has come under increasing fire from all sides over his forthright comments about of the situation in the country. The Thinni administration in Beida sacked him twice, in January last year and this April, although that was largely because of his support for the Presidency Council. He simply ignored it, knowing that he had the support of the UN and of Serraj and the Presidency Council.
In recent weeks, however, this latter has faded. Last month, both the State Council head Abdulrahman Sewehli and the spokesman for the Bunyan Marsous Operations Room, fellow Misratan Mohamed Al-Ghasri, called for him to be sacked over comments he made to the UN in New York about the operation in Sirte against the so-called Islamic State. He said the notion of “forces controlled by the Government of National Accord” was unrealistic because they operated outside state control. Unless armed groups signed a binding commitment to disarm and agreed to join state institutions, he said, they could threaten the GNA.
Sewehli called the UN ambassador “insolent”.
Coming so soon after the controversial removal of four Cyrenaican members of the Government of National Accord, that of the highly competent Dabbashi is likely to be seen as another unnecessary shot in the foot by a weak Presidency Council, under pressure from the Misratans.
The move is also unlikely to be welcomed by the UN.