By Libya Herald reporter.
Benghazi, 29 January 2017:
The head of Benghazi security directorate, Saleh Hweidi, has been removed according to officials in Benghazi. He has reportedly been replaced by Colonel Saleh Mohamed Al-Khafaifi, former head of Tocra security directorate. No announcement has officially been made so far, however, a leading Benghazi security directorate member confirmed the move to the Libya Herald.
The announcement of the change was apparently signed by the Beida-based interim government’s deputy minister, Adel Abdulaziz Omar who is currently acting as minister.
Hwaidi was appointed to the post, which includes responsibility for the city’s police, just six months ago. In the current situation, it is a notoriously difficult job. Expectations in regard to security are high but are almost impossible to achieve. When appointed, he succeeded Colonel Mustafa Al-Ragaig, removed because he failed to deliver. Ragaig had, in fact, been previously sacked twice because of disgruntlement with him but had refused to go.
A couple of months ago there were reports of growing discontent with Hwaidi himself and rumours that he had been fired. He responded by ordering the arrest of a member of his staff allegedly behind them.
Ironically his removal comes just 24 hours after he took the leading part in a ceremony in Benghazi’s Hawari district to lay the foundations for the security directorate new headquarters. Plans to rebuild the much damaged HQ were unveiled five months ago.
At yesterday’s ceremony, Hwaidi was accompanied by former interior minister Mohammed Al-Madani Al-Fakhri who has been a close colleague, Benina airbase commander Mohamed Manfur Al-Mnifi and Jamal Al-Zahawi, head of the LNA’s 21 Brigade. There were no indications at the event that anyone suspected Hwaidi was on his way out.