Libya Names New Chief-of-Staff to Tackle Armed Militias

Agence France Presse (AFP)26.08.2014 Libya
Libya Names New Chief-of-Staff to Tackle Armed Militias

Libya Names New Chief-of-Staff to Tackle Armed Militias

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The Libyan Parliament has named a new Chief-of-Staff to tackle armed militias that have claimed control of vast areas of the country.

“Colonel Abdel Razzak Nadhuri was chosen by 88 out of 124 MPs present and promoted to the rank of General” on Sunday, Parliament Spokesman Mohammed Toumi told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Nadhuri replaces General Abdessalam Jadallah al-Abidi, who was grilled by Parliament on August 10 on the army's inability to restore law and order to Tripoli and Benghazi, the country's two largest cities where militiamen have run rampant.

Parliament, which sits in Tobruk, 1,600 kilometers east of the capital, held Abidi responsible for the deteriorating security situation and blamed him for backing certain militias that in theory report to the Army.

Libya's new Chief-of-Staff comes from Marj some 1,100 kilometers east of the capital.

On Monday, Egypt warned that a spillover of lawlessness from Libya could prompt foreign intervention, saying this should be avoided as diplomats discussed the spiraling violence in the North African country.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri spoke at the opening session of the meeting with the Foreign Ministers of Libya’s neighboring countries, two days after Cairo denied Islamist militia accusations that it had conducted an air strike against Islamists in Tripoli.

On Monday Egypt hosted a meeting of Foreign Ministers of Libya and its neighbors, as Islamist militias openly challenged the legitimacy of parliament after seizing Tripoli's airport.

The meeting in Cairo included the Foreign Ministers of Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Chad and Niger, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The grouping last met in July when it called for political dialogue and the formation of a council to follow the crisis in Libya.

Meanwhile, Libyan radical militant group Ansar al-Sharia, which Tripoli and Washington have both labeled a terrorist organization, Monday urged other Islamist militias in the North African nation to unite under one front.

Ansar al-Sharia, which controls around 80% of its heartland Benghazi some 1,000 kilometers east of Tripoli, appealed directly to Misrata militia Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) and its allies in the west.

Ansar al-Sharia urged other Islamists to beware what it dubbed Western plots aimed at “opposing the mujahedeen under the pretext that they are extremists.”.

Source: AFP; Al Arabiya

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