By Maha Sulaiman.
Benghazi, 17 July 2016:
In yet another instance of the Libya’s damaging divisions, Mustafa Al-Ragaig, dismissed last week as head of Benghazi’s security directorate, is refusing to go. Instead, he is now trying to arrest the man who sacked him, the interior minister in the Beida-based government, Mohammed Al-Madani Al-Fakhri.
In a letter to police stations and units that are part of the security directorate, Ragaig has said that Fakhri is not entitled to make such a decision as he is only deputy minister who is in an acting position as minister. He accused him of trying to sabotage security in Benghazi and claimed to have evidence of corruption in the ministry which he would publish shortly.
This is Ragaig’s second bid to arrest someone who sacked him. In May last year, he ordered the arrest of former interior minister Omar Sinki after the latter dismissed him.
It had no effect, not least because arrest warrants are invalid unless issued by the public prosecutor.
Bringing into question Ragaig’s loyalty to both the Beida government and the Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Hafter, Ragaig directed his statement about Fakhri not only at police stations and other security directorate organisations, he also sent it to the head of the Specialised Anti-Terrorist Force. It was suppressed by Fakhri a fortnight ago on the basis that the man heading it, Faraj Igaim, supported the minister of defence in the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, Mahdi Al-Barghathi, and not to Hafter and the Thinni administration.
Igaim has since quit Benghazi and is reported to be heading a militia linked to Ibrahim Jadhran.