El-Sonni Claims: All Factions Existing in Tripoli are Professional and Integrated into the Interior Ministry – Al Marsad

The Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Ambassador to the United Nations, Taher El Sonni, denied the statements made by the Minister of Interior of the GNA, Fathi Bashagha on the pressures exerted by militias on Tripoli and their acts of looting and killing.

[Libya, 24 February 2020] – During his interview with the BBC Arabic satellite channel broadcast on Sunday evening, following Bashagha’s statements and in response to a question by the channel’s presenter on the reasons for the absence of a regular army and security forces for the GNA, Taher El-Sonni denied having any militias including the Nawasi.

Sonni’s statements contradict the GNA’s Interior Minister’s remarks, although Sonni himself had not denied that few hours prior.

Sonni alleged that all the faction elements joined the Ministry of Interior with the recognition of the UN Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé on security arrangements, pointing out that the international community knew of these formations.

“There were 40 foreign diplomatic missions working in the capital,” he revealed without giving more details as most of the embassies are operating from Tunisia.

Sonni has repeated the same claims that he and his chief have been making, while Bashagha himself refutes it. “When he first entered Tripoli, we had 40 militias, but now we have only few groups; perhaps there are only four and they are all affiliated with the state institutions,” Sonni claimed.

Furthermore, Taher El-Sonni denied the presence of Syrian fighters, including extremists, backed and brought by Turkey to assist his GNA in Tripoli, according to the BBC presenter’s description.

Sonni seems to have forgotten that the Turkish President Erdogan had confessed to sending Syrian fighters to Libya on Saturday.

Also, the GNA’s head, Fayez al-Sarraj, declared the same fact to be true also on the BBC. Ali Al-Ramli, one of the commanders of the Nawasi Brigade which was criticised by Bashagha yesterday, also claimed the presence of Syrian terrorists and blamed the GNA’s Interior Minister Bashagha for bringing them.

Sonni did not hesitate to deny that the head of the United Nations’ Mission, to which he is assigned as an ambassador in New York, had previously declared in a televised interview a few days ago, that there were Syrian terrorists in Tripoli and those terrorists may include some ISIS members.

Thanks to such baseless denials, and in light of the public revelations made by Bashagha about existence of Syrians in Tripoli, a counter campaign was launched against Sonni who many hold responsible for the failure of the Presidential Council of Libya.

Sonni held the post of Senior Political Advisor of the Presidential Council’s head, Fayez al-Sarraj, and is known for his biased support for one of the warring parties in the Libyan conflict. This party does not represent all of the Libyan people. He also appointed to the UN by a party that did not gain the confidence of the Libyan Parliament to begin with, therefore contravening the stipulations of the Skhirat Agreement.

Observers believed that Sonni’s recent statements are a mistake that will chase him, in addition to the recent revelations in the US media that he is illegally attempting to rent floors of the Libya House in New York when Libyan law expressly prohibits such commercial activity.

© Al Marsad English (2020)

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