Libya: ministerial reshuffle against a backdrop of social discontent

Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the government of national unity in Libya, on September 20, 2017 at the UN. Drew Angerer / Getty Images / AFP

Text by: RFI Follow

4 min

In the midst of social unrest, the head of the Libyan government of national unity (GNA) on Saturday appointed a new Minister of Defense and a new Chief of Defense Staff. Fayez el-Sarraj, appointed Colonel Salah Eddine al-Namrouch to the Defense portfolio and Mohamad Ali al-Haddad, as chief of staff of the Libyan army. Other changes could intervene especially concerning the post of governor of the Central Bank of the country which manages the liquidity of this oil State.


Read more

These appointments were expected after the victory in Tripoli with the support of Turkey against the forces of Marshal Haftar, the strongman of eastern Libya. And other appointments are expected according to Jalel Harchaoui, researcher at the Clingendael Institute for International Relations in the Netherlands. The deputy, the one who became a minister, is a man who is quite young and comes from the city of Zaouïa, quite important from a tribal and demographic point of view, and he is an actor who is not an Islamist, but who is quite pro-Turkey and who distinguished himself by a certain effectiveness during the 14 months of Marshal Haftar's offensive . "

" Al-Haddad pro-Turkey "

Regarding, the new chief of staff of the Libyan army Mohamed Ali al-Haddad, from Misrata, his appointment would be a kind of compensation for the suspension of the Minister of the Interior, also from this city. Jalel Harchaoui confirms. He symbolizes the city of Misrata but we must not imagine Mr. al-Haddad as being a character as charismatic as Fathi Bachagha who is the Minister of the Interior who is in full conflict with the Prime Minister, but especially what characterizes Fathi Bachagha, it is his ability to conduct his own diplomacy on the international scene, this kind of politicization should not be expected at all from al-Haddad, and Fathi Bachagha supporters who are very angry at what is happening, they are not going to be comforted or reassured just because mr al-Haddad is promoted and recognized in his new post. "

The governor of the central bank threatened

Other appointments could take place because of the social unrest and protests continue in recent days against the deterioration of living conditions. All eyes are on the post of "  In the midst of the coronavirus, there is the question of the Minister of Health, and also everything related to energy, it should be known that one of the most acute grievances, more problematic, the most painful for the population, it is the more and more frequent power cuts in the middle of summer and in the middle of Covid  ", analyzes the researcher. Jalel Harchaoui adds, however: "  The governorate of the Central Bank in Tripoli is really the post which in my opinion is the most powerful, the most influential post in all of Libya, and it is possible that this controversy which is gnawing Tripoli reaches the governor's office. There was talk of changing well before the protests and we risk using the protests to precisely precipitate this change  ”

Newsletter Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Libya
  • Khalifa Haftar
  • Fayez el-Sarraj