After the events of last Friday in the Libyan city of Benghazi, which led to security and social tensions in the eastern region, accusations were directly directed at the outgoing Prime Minister of the National Unity Government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, for his involvement in the events by supporting the former Minister of Defense, Mehdi Al-Barghathi, who is behind them.
The accusations were based on Dbeibeh‘s request on Monday for the Attorney General to conduct an urgent investigation into the armed clashes that have been taking place in Benghazi since last Friday, in which he said, “We have received reports of armed confrontations in Benghazi and a complete interruption of communications, which has isolated the city from the rest of the world.”
The head of the Libyan government, appointed by the Parliament, Oussama Hamad, responded to Dbeibeh’s statements by saying, “We followed the statements of the former and dismissed prime minister in Tripoli regarding what he claimed were armed clashes in Benghazi.” He added, “The reports on which he relied seem to be from social media platforms and some activists with known orientations, collected for him by those who work with him in haste. They are part of the ongoing campaign to destabilize the security and stability in our safe areas, thanks to God, the armed forces, and the security agencies.”
Hamad continued, “Unfortunately, it seems that this ruling system, clinging to power, has a problem with national unity among the Libyans and is always determined to bring the country into armed crises. But we are always vigilant and not satisfied with scenes of national unity after the (Derna) catastrophe and attempt to undermine social cohesion in all possible ways, financially, through the media, and militarily.” He described Mehdi Al-Barghathi’s armed group as a renegade gang that received direct funding from elements following the government in Tripoli.
On the other hand, the head of the Libyan Media Foundation, which is affiliated with the government derived from the House of Representatives, Mohammed Omar Baiou, addressed Dbeibeh by saying, “If the Attorney General could investigate criminal offenses, legal violations, human rights abuses, taking lives, embezzling public money, and rampant corruption, you would be the first to appear before him.” He pointed out that “the Attorney General cannot investigate because he is an accusatory authority, not an executive one, and he does not have armies and weapons.” He concluded, “As for Benghazi, it will remain safe despite the plots of conspirators.”
Furthermore, activist Mohamed Qashoot claimed that Dbeibeh has provided financial support to Al-Barghathi’s plan and to the armed group sent by the deposed Mufti, Sadiq Al-Ghariani, since 2014, and he continues to be supported by successive governments in Tripoli, the latest being the Government of National Unity, which includes him with a lot of support and backing, whether through the Dar Al-Ifta he supervises or through the media platforms that revolve around him, the most prominent of which is the (Al-Tanasuh) channel managed by his son Suhail Al-Ghariani from Istanbul, Turkey, according to the London-based “Al-Arab” newspaper.
Libyan media outlets reported that forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar clashed with an armed group affiliated with Mehdi Al-Barghathi, who led a battalion fighting alongside the army before joining the government in Tripoli, which Haftar did not recognize.