Libya: New armed grouping supports ex-premier Khalifa Ghwell

A number of armed factions in the west of Libya, but mainly from Misrata, today announced the formation of the Libyan National Guards (LNG), a group that is backing Khalifa Ghwell former prime minister of Libya Dawn’s National Salvation Government.

It was reported that dozens of Misratan vehicles entered Tripoli overnight. Today LNG forces paraded through the main streets of Tripoli, including Martyrs’ Square. Similar LNG demonstrations seen in Zawia and Gharyan.

LNG commander, Colonel Mahmud Al-Zaghel, said ridding Libya of the so-called Islamic State was their main objective.

“We will work on the protection of the state facilities and will guard the borders of Libya,” said a statement by the group.

It aded: “We will fight the chaos caused by the spread of arms and shall defend all embassies and foreign diplomatic missions, in addition to our participation in fighting the illegal migration.”

This is the job that Presidency Council has given to the new Presidential Guard. Three days ago the EU welcomed the deployment of the first units of the Guard as a major step to protect the institutions created by the Libyan Political Agreement  and diplomatic missions in Tripoli.

LNG is said to be under the authority of the rump of the General National Congress and as such, does not recognise the UN-backed Government of National Accord.

Gunmen loyal to Salah Al-Burki, who yesterday clashed  with the Abu Sleem Central Security Force belonging to Abdul Ghani Al-Kikli (a.k.a. Ghneiwa), have driven around in vehicles bearing the insignia of the new LNG.

Meanwhile, Abu Sleem Central Security Force mourned the death of one of Ghneiwa’s main aides today, Emad Shanak. He was killed during yesterday’s clashes. The Force has vowed revenge.