PC declares new Ghwell’s Libyan National Guard illegal

By Libya Herald reporter.

Tunis, 12 February 2017:

The Libyan National Guard (LNG), launched last week as the Libyan radicals’ answer to Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army, is illegal according to a statement today from the Presidency Council (PC).

The move was not unexpected. Operating wholly in Tripoli, the LNG is deeply opposed to the PC, supporting the supposed administration of Khalifa Ghwell. The latter now has military control over most of west Tripoli. However, it has little political power in the city at present. A takeover of several ministries a month ago lasted only a few hours.

The PC’s decision has, however, increased tensions in Tripoli. According to a senior government official, there are concerns that as a result there will be fresh fighting between supporters of the PC and of Ghwell.

Saturday saw clashes between them in the south of then capital. According to a local analyst, though, the fighting between the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade (TRB) headed by Haithem Tajouri and the mainly Misratan fighters under the command of Tripoli-based Misratan strongman Mahmud Baiyu (also known as Sharikan) was, in fact, to do with an attempt by the latter to seize the main highway in the capital

According to him, the militia led by Sharikan had been expecting support from other militias that have formed the LNG. But he claimed the latter became frightened after the US State Department voiced its opposition to it creation.

Meanwhile the Presidency Council has also announced that Friday’s sixth anniversary of the start of the Revolution would be marked by a major gathering in Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square. It has, however, warned that there can be no political demonstrations during the event.

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