By Michel Cousins.
Cairo, 21 November 2016:
The head of the Thinni administration’s media and culture authority – in effect Beida’s “minister of information” – has resigned in protest over today’s car bombing in Benghazi. In a statement on his Facebook page, Khaled Najem said that he would continue in post only until a new appointment was made.
Security is not his remit but in his statement he alluded to rifts within the interim government over it, saying that there had been failings in providing it.
Security is the joint responsibility of both the military and the interior ministry but there has been disarray in regard to it for months. Over the past year the Thinni administration has had four acting interior ministers – three in the past six weeks – and there were damaging squabbles during the summer over who heads Benghazi’s security directorate. This has undermined security as a whole.
Today’s bombing and Najem’s resignation may well push the military leadership around Khalifa Hafter and Abdul Razzaq Al-Nazhouri to formally take over control of the police and security directorates throughout the east of the country.
Najem was appointed head of the media and culture authority eleven months ago when Thinni sacked Omar Gawairi.