The Libyan rebels dissolved their executive committee on Monday, after what was described as “shortcomings” by some members in the handling of the shooting death of their military chief, Reuters reported.
A spokesman for the rebels’ governing National Transitional Council (NTC) reportedly told the Al-Jazeera television network that rebel leader Mahmoud Jibril, who was head of the committee, had been asked to form a new executive body of ministers.
The move comes 12 days after the head of Libya’s rebel forces was shot and killed just before being brought for questioning by rebel authorities.
Rebel sources had revealed they had already detained the commander, Abdul-Fatah Younis, on suspicion his family might still have ties to the regime of Muamar Qaddafi, leading some to believe he may have been assassinated by his own side.
“Given the shortcomings in the performance of some members of the executive committee with regard to this crisis and this incident, the Council has decided to form a new committee,” rebel spokesman Abdel-Hafiz Ghoga was quoted as having told Al-Jazeera.
Younis was part of the group involved in the 1969 coup that brought Qaddafi to power. He was Qaddafi’s interior minister before he defected and took a top role in the rebellion in February.
His death in the hands of an allied militia, as well as the dissolving of the rebels’ executive committee as a result, could mean additional problems for the rebels in their already problematic war on Qaddafi.
On Sunday, Libyan rebels denied reports they had lost control of Bir al-Ghanam, a key staging point some 80 km south of Tripoli.
Rebel commanders had earlier said they had seized control of Bir al-Ghanam in an offensive in which four anti-Qaddafi fighters had died. Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi later said the rebels had seized Bir al-Ghanam temporarily but they had been driven out.
A blueprint by the National Transitional Council, the contents of which were revealed on Monday, concedes the rebels have little chance of toppling Qaddafi, but maintains internal divisions will force him out.