Gunmen Allied With Former GECOL Director Close Headquarters to Protest Against Appointment of New Board of Directors


An armed group closed the headquarters of the General Electricity Company of Libya’s (GECOL) south of the capital, Tripoli. This is to protest against the appointment of a new administration by the Government of National Accord (GNA).

The gunmen graffitied several phrases on the company’s gate against the new administration, including “You will not enter it – Volcano of Wrath — We will not forget the blood of the martyrs — February 17th is a red line” and other slogans.

An armed group from the city of Misrata, ‘Battalion 301’, closed the headquarters in protest against the removal of the previous board led by Ali Sassi Al-Misrati, and the appointment of a new board of directors. The new board’s head is from the city of Ghadames, and includes members from the east, west, and south of the country.

The armed group issued a statement that the government needed to appoint an effective and national administration. It warned the GNA’s Prime Minister, Fayez Al-Sarraj, holding him responsible for appointing a new board of directors for the electricity company, instead of providing support to the previous administration led by Sassi. The statement also considered Sassi’s management of the company as extremely efficient, given his 30 years of experience.

The statement indicated that the appointing of new board members only meets the ambitions of Al-Sarraj, and his advisers. It also noted that the mayor of Al-Zawiyah, attended GECOL meetings without an official capacity. They also claimed militias from the city of Al-Zawiyah had stolen a gas pipeline that was flowing to stations west of Tripoli.

On the 17th of July, Sassi announced during a television interview that advisors to Al-Sarraj were interfering with the company’s work. They had suspended several proposals, including one for solar street lighting in Tripoli. He also questioned the efficiency of the current board of directors, a day before its appointment.

A source in the company revealed Sassi’s intention to file a lawsuit to the administrative judiciary against the decision of the GNA, due to its lack of jurisdiction. Al-Sassi expected to obtain a ruling in his favour similar to previous judicial rulings issued against the GNA.

Battalion 301 is led by Abdel-Salam Al-Zobi, and it is known as the 301 Saranti Brigade. This is due to its reputation for taxing shops in the region in exchange for protection. It is affiliated with the Chief of the General Staff of the GNA, Mohamed Sharif, and stationed at Tripoli International Airport. It is also linked with the GNA’s Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha.

The battalion concluded by saying: “The General Assembly Council must review its accounts; Libya has not yet been free of patriots, and we will spare no effort to end this futility, and this exposed manipulation”.