The Address | Benghazi – Libya
BENGHAZI – The Ministry of Interior of the Libyan Interim Government confirmed, in its response to the statement of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) about the events that took place in the city of al-Marj east of Benghazi, that it had formed a committee to investigate the events that took place in front of the City’s Security Directorate.
“The UN mission expressed its concern about what it described as the excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrators, as it described them. We wished that its statement came after clarification of the matter from us so that their concern covers everything that happened that night,” the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The ministry explained that al-Marj Security Directorate was attacked with medium weapons and “RPG” shells, in addition to light weapons. It indicated that the security forces carried out their duty to protect their headquarters, which the attackers began to storm.
The Ministry confirmed that al-Marj Security Directorate contains a warehouse for weapons and ammunition, a fuel station and a warehouse for police vehicles.
The ministry said, “The events began with a number of people gathering in the square of the Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq Mosque, calling for improvement of their living conditions, and in the meantime some of the attendees incited the demonstrators to go to the security headquarters to storm them.”
The ministry explained “the orders were issued not to contact the peaceful claimants and to withdraw the patrols inside the directorate building. However, a large number of people attacked the building and burned a number of police officers’ cars that were in front of the headquarters after they seized one of them, a Hyundai, and used it to remove the main gate to enter through it.”
The ministry said that the attack lasted for seven continuous hours, during which the security forces were in a state of defense and repelled the attack, and indicated it assigned an investigation committee according to the decree of the Minister of Interior headed by Brigadier General Idris Al-Saeiti, which moved at dawn on Tuesday and immediately to the city of al-Marj and began the investigation and completed it on 15 September and forwarded its results for presentation to the Minister of the Interior.
The ministry continued, “On the same date mentioned in the mission statement, gunmen set fire to the headquarters of the Council of Ministers in Benghazi and began to clash with security men, then fled after the fire caught in large parts of the building. There were also attempts to attack prisons in order to cause chaos and attacking a number of security directorates and police stations.
In the conclusion of its statement, the ministry said, “It is well aware of its duties as it started the investigation immediately after the occurrence of the events to put the matter into perspective and even before the mission requested it.
The ministry said its forces were repelling the attack on the state’s headquarters and preventing the country from plunging into more chaos according to Law No. 5 of 2018, which states in its fifth paragraph that members of the police force may carry weapons and use them to disperse a gathering or demonstration that occurs by five or more persons if public security is endangered.
The statement of the United Nations Mission in Libya on the demonstrations in the city of al-Marj over the past two days was widely criticized by several Libyan personalities, who saw it as an attempt to encourage attacking the security and military headquarters.