Libya DM Resigns, Then Returns and Fires Army Chief

Barghathi Resigned Over Ministries Being Surrounded

Libyan Defense Minister Mohammed al-Barghathi resigned earlier today, issuing a statement through the state news agency citing the “policy of force used by armed groups” in Tripoli, including several ministries being surrounded by militias.

The resignation didn’t last long, only a matter of hours later the prime minister’s office announced that Barghathi had unresigned and would return to work. Prime Minister Zeidan says they will resolve the ministries siege peacefully.

This announcement of Barghathi’s unresignation also came with another announcement – Army Chief of Staff Gen. Yusef al-Mangoush has been sacked and will be replaced by the end of the month.

The militias in Tripoli are demanding Zeidan’s resignation, and with the military struggling to break out of the rebel militia mindset there appears to be little the government can do about it. The ouster of Mangoush may suggest a shift toward a more aggressive centralizer aimed at uniting the military, which might also set the stage for a new round of fighting with militias.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.