Libya's foreign minister threatened with legal action over diplomat complaints

The country's public prosecutor says Najla Al Manqoush abused her power

Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Al Manqoush has been criticised for her actions regarding three Libyan diplomats. AP
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Libya’s Foreign Minister, Najla Al Manqoush, has been warned she could face legal action by the country’s public prosecutor after complaints from several diplomats this week.

Siddiqr Al Sour’s complaints were submitted in a memorandum to Mohamed Al Menfi, Head of the Presidential Council, after what he called the unfair dismissal of the country’s ambassadors to the United States, Oman, and the deputy representative of Libya to the League of Arab States.

Ms Al Manqoush recalled the men to Libya and ordered them hand over their posts to the Foreign Ministry without giving any specific reason, the letter alleged.

She claimed the suspension of their employment was in accordance with Article 174 of the Labour Relations Law which considers them as having resigned in "cases of non-implementation."

A government official confirmed to The National that a letter by Mr Al Sour had been sent but further action has yet to be taken. Ms Al Manqoush did not respond to a request for comment.

"Ms Al Manqoush must be held under criminal accountability," Mr Al Sour said, referring to his role in protecting the rights and freedoms of individuals from administration abuse and its deviation from power.

"The public official deliberately failed to respect the principle of legality. Flouting the laws and regulations in force, and instructions issued by higher authorities," said the letter.

"The Foreign Minister must not take advantage of her powers, infringe on the presidential council's mandate, ignore its decisions or cause disruption of Libyan diplomacy at this sensitive stage," it said.

In March, Libya’s Parliament formed a Government of National Unity, led by interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, 10 years after the Arab uprising began.

In March, Ms Al Manqoush, who is a lawyer and human rights activist, took office after the new government faced complaints for not following up on a pledge to have 30 per cent of ministerial posts led by women.

She held a role in the transitional council that briefly governed Libya after its 2011 uprising, and was later joined by four other women in the Cabinet, including Halima Abdulrahman as justice minister.

Mr Dbeibeh's interim government has been tasked with overseeing a unified state institutions until nationwide elections are held on December 24.

For the first time, the elections will nominate a president and new parliament.

Updated: September 14, 2021, 1:20 PM