The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Power-play in Sirte as military governor appointed alongside mayor Open in fullscreen

Robert Cusack

Power-play in Sirte as military governor appointed alongside mayor

File photo: Forces loyal to Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord in Sirte [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 December, 2016

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Questions are being raised over who controls the Libyan city of Sirte, after a military governor was appointed only two days after a mayor.
Confusion surrounds the administration of the Libyan city of Sirte, as a military governor was appointed to rule the town, 48 hours after a mayor was also approved by the city council.

Ahmed Abu Shahma was named governor on Wednesday, possibly in reaction to the Sirte mayor, Mukhtar al-Madani’s proximity to Libya's General Khalifa Haftar.

“Ahmed Abu Shahma is now officially the military governor of Sirte’s administration,” said Bashir al-Qadi, a spokesperson for government forces.

UNSMIL chief, Martin Kobler, said that the decision to appoint Abu Shahma was of importance for the security of the region.

“Obviously the security of Sirte is a major priority, so the appointment of a 'military governor' signifies someone responsible for security, not the replacement of the elected mayor,” he told the Libya Herald.

Others believe that Abu Shahma will become the de-facto leader of a city which was only recently captured from Islamic State (IS) fighters.

It was reported that Abu Shahma’s forces played an important part in the liberation of Sirte from IS, in which over 700 people died and around 3,000 were injured.

Madani was appointed mayor for the second time this year by six out of seven members of the Central Committee for Municipal Council Elections on Monday.

The interim government in al-Bayda appointed Madani as mayor of Sirte over the summer, before IS captured the town.

It has been reported that Shahma will have Misrata’s ‘anti-IS’ 166 Brigade at his disposal to monitor the security of the province.

The 166 Brigade were forced to abandon Sirte to IS fighters in June, after facing a force of 200 troops.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More