The President of the Presidential Council and the Supreme Commander of the Libyan Army, Fayez al-Sarraj, has been serving as the Minister of Defense since his dismissal of former Minister Mahdi al-Barghathi in July 2018.
The ministry remained vacant despite its primary importance in the defense of the country and its citizens. With the beginning of the Hifter aggression on April 4, 2019, there were calls for the appointment of a defense minister specializing in its field to help repel the aggression, but Asarraj did not respond to any of these requests, and the best he could do was to asign Colonel Salahuddin Al-Namroush With the duties of Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defense in October of last year, without wide powers enabling him to play an important role in revitalizing the Ministry’s work.
Asarraj continued his management of the Ministry of Defense individually in light of his duties and concerns as Chairman of the Presidential Council and Head of the GNA, and issued new appointment and exemption decisions, the latest of which was the dismissal of the Military Public Prosecutor Fathi Saad from his post, and the appointment of Colonel Al-Hadi al-Qadi as his replacement.
Asarraj’s decisions come at a time when the war and military efforts need the necessary capabilities, including equipment and people to conclude military deals, and to bring about what is lacking in the battle the Libyan army is fighting in defense of legitimacy.
The President of the Presidential Council insists on monopolizing the tasks of the Ministry of Defense, only to disrupt its tasks and departments, which is needed at this stage in the military operations in the battle, and to conclude agreements with allied and friendly countries in order to raise the war effort and competencies to achieve the goals that defenders of the civil state demand in the battlefields.