By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 20 March 2017:
A former Qaddafi colonel from Tarhuna, captured five years ago in Gharyan, has been released, following negotiations between tribal elders from the two towns.
Sasi Al-Ghani Al-Tarhouni, who fought under Qaddafi during the 2011 revolution, was seen today in social media images being greeted by friends and family.
Meanwhile, a faction from the Gharyan tribe has announced its backing for Khalifa Hafter and House of Representatives leader Ageela Salah. The group also disowned controversial grand mufti Sheikh Sadiq Ghariani. They said his inflammatory comments supporting Islamist militants had inflicted a great deal of suffering on the community from which his family originally springs.
Ghariani, resolutely anti-Hafter and anti-Serraj, has backed the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) currently fighting Hafter’s Libyan National Army. He also been frequently accused of inciting violence by backing IS and Ansar Al-Sharia terrorists.
The Gharyan group said the sheikh’s fatwas encouraged war and caused Libyans “to fight each other”. They insisted he was an isolated figure and had no support in Gharyan. They also blamed Al-Nabaa TV and Tanasuh TV, the latter owned by Ghariani, for “misleading” the public.