Who is Libya’s new Interior Minister?

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The Prime Minister of Libya’s Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba has assigned Emad Trabelsi to run the tasks of the Minister of Interior until further notice.

Trabelsi is “one of the most prominent violators of human rights and international humanitarian law in Libya,” according to Head of the National Commission for Human Rights in Libya (NCHRL), Ahmed Hamza.

In September, Dbaiba assigned Trabelsi as the Under-Secretary-General of Libya’s Ministry of Interior.
“Such appointments of personalities with legal and human rights reservations cannot be accepted, as Dbaiba does not attach any importance to the state’s legal and human rights obligations,” Hamza said in September.

He claimed that “Dbaiba would do anything in return for buying loyalty to protect him, and to ensure that he remains in the usurped authority, as a de facto authority that imposes its existence by force of arms.” He pointed out that the PM, “does not attach any importance to human rights, and its victims. Trabelsi should be behind bars, and not as an official in Libya’s Ministry of Interior.”

It is not the first time that GNU has appointed a militia leader to a sensitive security position. The Chief of the Libyan Intelligence Service, Hussein Al-Ayeb appointed Mohamed Bahroun, as Head of the Anti-Terrorism Office in the western region.

Bahroun is wanted by the Attorney General on terrorism charges. He was involved in several deadly armed clashes with other militias in the west of the country. He claimed that: “There is no good in war and from whoever calls for it. We will not be among its advocates; but if we are dragged into one, we would not hesitate to fight.”

Notably, Libya’s Parliament announced the unanimous appointment of Fathi Bashagha as the new Prime Minister on 10 February 2022. But Dbaiba warned that the appointment of a new interim government could lead to war and chaos in the country. He renewed his pledge to only hand power over to an elected government.