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Anti-corruption official abducted by government-tied militia

Cairo: One of Libya’s top anti-corruption officials has been abducted by a militia tied to the Interior Ministry in the capital, the Audit Bureau said, the latest twist in a long-running contest over the country’s vast wealth.

The abduction of Reda Gergab, the bureau’s administrative director, brought deep tensions in the Tripoli-based administration to the surface at a time of worsening economic crisis. The Audit Bureau is an independent body appointed by the Libyan Parliament in Tripoli and is a rare check on the misappropriation of funds in the oil-rich country.

Migrants wait for help in the Libyan Sahara near the border with Sudan. Authorities in southern Libya have accelerated expulsions of migrants to Sudan and Chad during the coronavirus pandemic.

Migrants wait for help in the Libyan Sahara near the border with Sudan. Authorities in southern Libya have accelerated expulsions of migrants to Sudan and Chad during the coronavirus pandemic. Credit:Tayeb Saleh

“It is regrettable that the body entrusted by the community to implement the law is violating it,” the audit bureau said in a statement, accusing the Interior Ministry of “forcibly disappearing” Gergab to prevent him from uncovering financial irregularities and blocking the ministry’s large and suspicious transactions.

Although the Tripoli-based government was set up by the UN and recognised by Western countries, many of its institutions, including the Interior Ministry, are in reality staffed and controlled by unruly militias.

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