TRIPOLI – Libya’s UN-backed government is trying to revive a military force to counter the influence of militias in the country’s capital.
The Government of National Accord (GNA) on Thursday issued a decree restructuring what is known as the Presidential Guard force and tasking it with new missions.
The decree turned the PG into a mechanised brigade consisting of tactical, combat and security units. The restructured force will be responsible for protecting members of GNA’s Presidency Council and VIPs visiting Tripoli including heads of state.
It will also act as bodyguard force of GNA's head, Fayez Sarraj, during different public functions including attending public events and movement to and from the airport.
A previous attempt by the GNA to impose the PG on Tripoli’s security scene collapsed in May when Tripoli-based militias become wary of the new force, and eventually captured all its positions and vehicles.
The decision is part of GNA’s effort to reduce reliance on rogue militias which the UN has accused of hijacking Tripoli and embezzling public funds. Mr Sarraj’s move received mixed reactions. Some has welcomed it as the beginning of a wider effort to tackle the threat of militias, while others remained sceptical fearing that the move was merely a rebranding of the same militias.