Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rumors of a Military Coup in Occupied Libya

Defence Minister threatens action after calls for military rule in Libya

By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 12 February 2014:

Defence Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni said yesterday that the names of a number of officers who had discussed proposals for military rule had been passed on to the military prosecutor.

Speaking in a live television interview on Libya Al-Ahrar, Thinni said military intelligence had been alerted to a secret meeting in the former Qaddafi Hall of the People in Tripoli where military officials discussed the creation of a Egyptian-style military council to replace Congress and the government. The Military Police had been sent, he said, and although none of the individuals had been detained, their identities were known and they would be charged.

However, a source linked to the Military Police told the Libya Herald that it had refused orders yesterday by Nuri Abu Sahmain, the President of the General National Congress, to break up the meeting. According to the source, a top Military Police official had done so saying he no longer accepted the legitimacy of Congress because it had expired on 7 February.

Abu Sahmain was given powers three weeks ago by Congress as Commander-in-Chief for a month.

An awareness that some members of the armed forces were wanting action similar to what happened in Egypt have been circulating for some days. On Sunday, Congress itself instructed the Chief of Staff to take necessary action against military figures who were becoming involved in political activities contrary to military regulations.

Meanwhile, spokesman for the Chief of Staff, Ali Shaikhi, said that the Military Prosecutor would be investigating military personnel who had given unsanctioned interviews to the press. He said that such interviews directly contravened orders and that prosecutions would begin shortly.

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