By Ken Hanly
The formation of the Presidential Guard was announced last May. The group is a new military force that is designed to protect government buildings, vital installations, and VIPs.
The force is to be Tripoli-based but will include members of both the police and army from different regions of Libya. Significantly, members of militia groups are not mentioned. It will provide security at public buildings and presidential complexes as well as protect members of the government and “notable guests” of the country.
PM Faiez Serraj, named Colonel Najmi Al-Nakua, along with colonels Abu Lagri and Ibrahim Bilad as his deputies. It has taken almost four months to make the appointments.
The composition of the Guard has been a matter of concern with Misratan forces in particular wanting the Guard to be mostly if not all Misratans.
No information has been released as to how many have been recruited into the force, or when it will become active.
Several countries have offered training for the force.
Recently the Ministry of Intelligence headquarters were occupied by a militia group without any significant resistance showing the need for such a force.
The appointment of Nakua was made in the name of the PC as the commander in chief of Libyan armed forces as set out in the Libya Political Agreement (LPA). General Haftar president of the Libyan National Army (LNA) of the House of Representatives (HoR) government refuses to recognize the PC as commander in chief of Libyan armed forces.
The Presidential Council were supposed to have presented a new cabinet to the HoR as of Wednesday but there is no sign that the choices have even been made yet.
The last meeting of the PC had only 4 of 9 members present. Serraj went to Sirte yesterday for a photo op with BAM forces in the city as the IS is now cornered in a small area of their last remaining stronghold in Libya.
Libya gets ‘Presidential Guard’
Tripoli – Libya’s government of national unity on Tuesday announced the creation of a new military force to protect government buildings, border posts, vital installations and VIPs, a statement said.
It was the first move by the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) to reorganise armed forces in the North African country that has been mired in chaos since the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi.
The GNA announced on its Facebook page that the “Presidential Guard” will be Tripoli-based but will include members of the police and army “selected in different regions” of Libya.
It will ensure security at “presidential complexes… and public buildings”, as well as providing close protection for members of the government and “notable guests” of the country.
Manpower figures were not given, but the new force’s tasks will include protecting “sensitive sites including maritime, air and land borders, the sources and supply of water and electricity power plants”.
After Gaddafi was overthrown and killed nearly five years ago, dozens of heavily armed militias in the capital and in cities across western Libya held onto weaponry they had used to battle the dictator’s forces.
In the east, controversial General Khalifa Haftar, self-proclaimed commander-in-chief, controls the “Libyan Arab armed forces” who include former regular soldiers and disparate armed factions.
The presidential council has no authority over Haftar’s forces who remain loyal to a parallel government backed by the internationally recognised parliament now based in the east.
Formed under a UN-backed power-sharing deal agreed by some Libyan lawmakers in December, the GNA has been working to assert its authority but has yet to receive the official endorsement of the recognised parliament.