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Have Libya’s armed forces lost confidence in Prime Minister Ali Zeidan?

At yesterday’s press conference, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan confirmed the details of the events surrounding the oil tanker, as reported yesterday by Libya Herald.However, he also confirmed that contact was made with the captain of the North Korean-flagged Morning Glory who informed the Libyan authorities that he was unable to leave Libyan waters because of “armed militias” on board.

More pertinently, the embattled Prime Minister confirmed that he had given instructions for the armed forces to take action against the oil tanker, and that they had refused to do so.

Zeidan said that he had given orders to his Defence Minister to instruct the Chief of Staff’s to use force against the oil tanker, but that no action was taken.

When pressured by the media to give more details or to explain why no action had been taken, Zeidan insisted that this was not the right time for this, and that this matter would be dealt with after the incident was over.

“We only give orders”, he explained, implying that it was for the armed forces to take military action, not his government.

Prime Minister Zeidan’s frank admission that he has no control over Libya’s armed forces raises further questions about his position in power. It raises the question of how tenable his position is and how much trust and respect does he still maintain amongst the GNC and the Libyan army.

Today, the GNC was supposed to put to the floor a vote of no confidence in Ali Zeidan. The fact that the Prime Minister has lost the confidence of his army may provide further ammunition to those interested in voting him out.

It also raises questions about this Prime Minister’s ability to take Libya forward in the long term with regards to matters of security. In short, how can the head of Libya’s executive, Ali Zeidan, be expected to achieve any traction and forward movement in the areas of building Libya’s security apparatus if the official security forces refuse to take orders from him.

If the various components of the new Libyan state apparatus cannot agree within themselves, how are they expected to act in unison and face their more determined and, on the face of it, more organised outside enemy?

Article by Sami Zaptia, Libya Herald.

This article was originally published here.

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