In Libya, the parallel government withdrew from Tripoli after fighting between armed groups

Libya’s parliament-appointed prime minister backed by the eastern camp of Marshal Khalifa Haftar withdrew from the capital Tripoli on Tuesday (May 17th) after trying to oust the rival executive and provoking fighting between rival armed groups.

This violence, on a scale unprecedented in Tripoli for nearly two years, and the failure of Field Marshal Haftar’s attempt in June 2020 to seize it by force, is evidence of the chaos that has plagued Libya since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in the country. 2011.

Also read the column: Libya: “The government must be exemplary despite the divisions and temptations of corruption”

Clashes erupted between rival militias on the night of Monday to Tuesday after the arrival of the Prime Minister appointed by the House of Representatives convened in the east, Fathi Bashagha, to Tripoli, accompanied by a number of ministers from his team, according to an AFP correspondent. – Press on the spot who could not accurately identify the conflicting factions.

In the middle of the morning on Tuesday, after several hours of fighting, Mr. Bashagha’s press office announced in a press release that the latter and his ministers had Leaving Tripoli for the sake of security (…) citizens”. Mr. Bashagha, who was invested in by the House of Representatives in March, intended with this unexpected coup to seize power in Tripoli despite the categorical refusal of the current executive authority led by Abdel Hamid Dabaiba to cede power before the elections. The vote, originally scheduled for December, has been postponed indefinitely.

A call to restraint

In the Tripoli region, the two camps are supported by armed groups that are still very influential in the west of the country, but whose loyalties are shifting. The large Al-Nawasi militia in the capital especially welcomed Mr. Bashagha’s arrival before he withdrew.

For its part, the government sitting in Tripoli, which was born in early 2020 from a political process under the auspices of the United Nations, did not react to the events of the last hours. According to Libyan media, the departure of Mr. Bashagha from the capital was decided during a mediation led by a brigade of the army loyal to the Tripoli government to end the fighting.

Read also: In Libya, the parallel government announced its entry into Tripoli

The Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Libya, Stephanie Williams, called on Twitter for “hold”Determination “On the absolute necessity to refrain from any provocative action.”. The United States is deeply concerned by reports of armed clashes in Tripoli. We urge all armed groups to refrain from violence, and we urge political leaders to recognize that seizing or retaining power through violence will only do harm to the Libyan people.”For its part, announced the US Embassy in Tripoli.

Read also: Libya: UN calls for calm after armed groups mobilize around Tripoli

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, spoke about the position “It has become very dangerous in the last hours”. “We expected something like this to happen, because in Libya we didn’t have elections but we have two governments (…) and sooner or later, when there are two governments, they ‘confront’he said in Brussels.

In a video broadcast by local media, Mr. Bashagha, the former interior minister, claimed early Tuesday that it was “Very well received” In Tripoli, he announced a press conference in the evening during which he will do “Speech of unity to the Libyan people”.

oil blockade

Since 2011, Libya, a country of seven million people, has been plagued by divisions between rival institutions in the east and west and insecurity. Oil production, the country’s main source of income, has been hostage to political divisions, with a wave of forced closures of oil sites in recent weeks.

The groups behind the blockade, considered close to the camp in the east, demanded a transfer of power to Mr. Bashagha and a better distribution of oil revenues.

Read also: This article is reserved for our subscribers In Libya, the political stalemate is exacerbated by the closure of oil sites

Between 2014 and 2021, the country actually found itself with two rival governments. But it is no longer a conflict between East and West, but rather an arrangement between the major players in the two regions. Being himself a heavyweight in western Libya, Mr. Bashagha has forged alliances with both Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and the appointed Parliament Speaker in the east, Aguila Salah Issa, on behalf of the National Reconciliation.

The world with AFP

Leave a Comment