By Sami Zaptia.
London, 28 October 2018:
The security of the Libyan Post and Telecommunications Information Technology Company (LPTIC), the holding company that owns Libya’s main state telecoms companies such as Al-Madar, Libyana and LTT, has been handed over to regular security forces.
The hand over took place today, the LPTIC’s Media Department informed Libya Herald.
It reported that the move is part of the larger framework of the implementation of the new Tripoli “security arrangements” and the promotion and establishment of public order and law enforcement through disciplined and uniformed police and security forces operating according to professional standards
These regular security forces’s main aim is the securing of citizens and private and public property and the evacuation of government offices of militia forces and handing them back over to the competent authorities, the Media Office added.
The LPTIC’s Media Office said that the regular security authorities involved in the implementation of Tripoli’s new “security arrangements” evacuated LPTIC’s Zawia Street HQ and today handed it over to LPTIC’s Board of Directors headed by Faisal Gergab.
It will be recalled that the LPTIC’s Board of Directors was previously unable to use the holding company’s building as a result of it being controlled by a group claiming to represent the company in contravention of the law.
This came about after the 2014 Tripoli militia coup when the current chairman and his small management team were forced to flee for their safety and relocate in Malta.
Meanwhile, a parallel LPTIC Board of Directors and chairman was set up by the internationally unrecognized Libya Dawn Tripoli Government of National Salvation.
After the 2015 Skhirat Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) and the arrival of the internationally-recognized Faiez Serraj and his Presidency Council and Government of National Accord n Tripoli, Gergab returned to Tripoli as the legitimate LPTIC chairman.
However, the unrecognized LPTIC Board of Directors, its chairman and its militia refused to recognize Gergab, or allow him to hold his board meetings in LPTIC’S HQ.
It will be recalled that the Faiez Serraj-led Presidency Council and Government of National Accord, in cooperation with UNSMIL, have introduced new security arrangements in the capital.
“Security Arrangements” are stipulated in the Skhirat LPA whereby militias occupying all Libyan urban centres are supposed to remove their weapons from city centres and disband by either joining the regular police or army or by returning to civilian life.
However, in practice this never happened as the Serraj administration, as well as the international community, became dependent on and enshrined the existence of Libya’s militias. Equally, the Presidential Guard, the new post-Qaddafi era regular Libyan army in western Libya, never materialised. As a result, the Skhirat Security Arrangements also never materialised.
However, as a result of the south Tripoli militia fighting in August-September this year between the main Tripoli militias and a Tarhuna-based militia, the need for the implementation of the Security Arrangements took on a new impetus.
In September, the Serraj government announced that the Rada SDF militia handed over the security of Mitiga airport to regular forces.
This month saw a number of state locations being handed over by militias to regular security forces – including the handover of Tripoli Port by the 8th Force Nawasi militia and a number of sites handed over by the Tripoli Revolutionary Brigades.
Today’s handover of LPTIC’s HQ is a continuation of this trend.