(Picture: Tareq Shanboor, former Libyan official in Tripoli’s Coast Guard. Source: IRIN News)
by Alessandro Pagano Dritto (Twitter: @paganodritto)
[November 9th, 2018] Italy has proposed to carry out arrest warrants in the Libyan soil during a meeting with Libyan officials in the Interior Ministry’s headquarters in Rome, Tripoli’s official Tareq Shanboor reported on his Facebook account last November 4th, but he has opposed the proposal as a matter of national sovereignity: as Libya is not allowed to carry out operations on the Italian soil, Italy must not be allowed to do it as well in the Libyan one, the general sense of Mr Shanboor’s words appear to be, also according to his own latest words in the post.
This is the latest of three recent posts, the earlier ones dating back to November 3rd and October 7th, 2018, where Mr Shanboor has criticized Italy for more than a reason.
Last November 3rd, Mr Shanboor stated the Italian intelligence was gathering news about the wrong Libyan personalities as possible invitees to the international conference on Libya Italy is organizing in Palermo and he then ponted out the reasons why he believed that.
On October 7th, Mr Shanboor reported about Italy’s Ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Perrone talking with the former Interior Minister in Tripoli Abdel Salam Ashour about a receipt to be signed for a Coast Guard boat, numbered “106”. In that occasion the Libyan official came apparently upset with the fact that Ambassador Perrone could be received anytime by the Interior Minister in Tripoli, while he supposed things don’t usually work that way between the Libyan Ambassador and the Italian Interior Minister in Rome; moreover, he noted that boats “109” and “111” were still lacking at the time of the signing request and that he was the very official in duty to sign, not the Minister.
The reports seem to point out that, in Mr Shanboor’s view, Italy is not treating Tripoli as an equal counterpart but as a sort of subordinate one and this interpretation might explain the reference to Libya’s sovereignity.
The Libyan media outlet The Libyan Address, which reported the news last October 6th, refers to Mr Shanboor as the “former head of the Libyan Coast Guard”, suggesting he’s no longer part of the body. More in detail, the Italian Human Right Watch referred to Mr Shanboor as “the head of the coastal security forces of the Interior Minister based in Tripoli” back in June 2017, the Libya Herald described him as “the head of the Tripoli-based interior ministry’s Coastal Security directorate” in November that year and so did the Libya Observer in February 2018. The Italian news outlet Il Sole 24 Ore could still refer to Mr Shanboor as “the head of the civilian Libyan Coast Guard” in late May 2018. The news he’s a former official, however, seems to be in line with what Shanboor himself wrote on Facebook last October 26th: “why should I trust the government? It’s just a waste of time”, which at least suggests he no longer trusts Tripoli’s institutions.
These dates suggest the episodes Mr Shanboor reported might be dated at least between the second half of 2017 and the first half of 2018.
In September 2017 the Italian journalist Francesca Mannocchi briefly mentioned Mr Shanboor in a reportage of hers from Libya, published on the Italian news outlet L’Espresso, pointing out the official’s criticism against Italy. She wrote:
“The guys of the Nawasi Brigade broke into the office of the head of the Libyan Coast Guard’s security, Tareq Shanboor, who was accused of criticism against the Italian decisions in Libya. Shanboor was working as he usually does every day, when a dozen of armed men went in his office and said: go away forever and do not try any rebellion, from now on the office is run under our authority”