Interior Minister of the east-based government Ibrahim Boushnaf declared that officials have “not abandoned” their duties towards western Libya.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said that his ministries have agents that are providing them with information about the security situation, “which is spiraling out of control due to the armed militias” that are affiliated with the Government of National Accord (GNA).
Moreover, he expressed concern over possible demographic changes in the West after tens of thousands of Syrian and African mercenaries have been brought in to support the Tripoli-based GNA.
The militias, he added, have infiltrated deep into security agencies. “According to our information, the situation is bad,” he remarked, citing “grave violations the mercenaries have committed in several western regions.” He accused them of seizing public and private properties, especially in Tarhuna city and the capital, Tripoli.
On the situation in the East, Boushnaf said his forces are capable of protecting the interior front and impose their control throughout territories controlled by the interim government.
“They have had many successful experiences in securing the back of the Libyan National Army (LNA) as it forged ahead with its war against terrorism,” he explained. “We had succeeded in securing the internal front, and we can do so again.”
“We have played our part in fending off these groups,” he continued.
The Interior Ministry security forces are all ready to deal with any military developments, specifically around Sirte city and the Jufra base, he stressed.
“The Libyan state with its ministries can perform their duties in imposing security and restoring control throughout the country once all state institutions are unified,” Boushnaf said.
He said the security situation in the East and South, where his government is in control, “is witnessing remarkable stability after the establishment of a professional institution that can impose the law and ensure that criminals cannot escape punishment.”
The minister acknowledged however, that crimes against citizens were still a daily occurrence in the South. He explained that the vast region has made it fertile ground for smuggling and human trafficking rings.