Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

The weapons speak again in Libya

Written by Eric Apim on Tuesday, August 30th 2022 à 15:45 | Read 239 times

Abdelhamid Dbeibeh is trying to hold on to power despite armed threats from his rival (photo: GNU)
Abdelhamid Dbeibeh is trying to hold on to power despite armed threats from his rival (photo: GNU)
LIBYA. The inevitable has happened since the night of Friday 26 to Saturday 27 August 2020 in the evening. The concentration of armed men in the outskirts of Tripoli ended up in a confrontation with a heavy toll with at least thirty-two dead and 159 injured, according to the Libyan Ministry of Health. The same source said that six hospitals were hit by shelling.

Supporters of the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdelhamid Dbeibeh, and those of Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed in February 2022 by the Parliament in Tobruk in the east of the country, came to fight. Some of them wanted to allow Abdelhamid Dbeibeh to retain power, which he would not relinquish until after the elections, while others wanted to impose the installation of Fathi Bashagha in the capital. A former Minister of the Interior, he had already tried to take his seat in Tripoli in May 2022, but, after fratricidal fighting, he had to retreat to Sirte (east of the country) where his government is now located. In July 2022, a clash between supporters of the two sides resulted in sixteen deaths and around fifty injuries.

Arrest warrant for rival prime minister

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) immediately called for "an immediate cessation of hostilities". It denounced "clashes (...) in neighborhoods populated by civilians. Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary General, urged on August 27, 2022 in a statement, "the Libyan parties to engage in a genuine dialogue to overcome the current political impasse and not to resort to force to resolve their differences. It also called on both sides to "protect civilians and refrain from any action that could aggravate tensions and deepen divisions.

Abdelhamid Dbeibeh accused his rival of "carrying out his threats. Fathi Bashagha had, once again, Wednesday, August 24, 2022 by mail, urged him to give up his place considering his government "obsolete and illegitimate. The GNU Prime Minister's response was: "avoid sending messages and redundant threats of war and targeting civilians".

On Sunday, August 28, 2022, when the situation seemed to be calming down, Abdelhamid Dbeibeh declared in a televised speech: "those who launched the aggression against Tripoli are at the service of international agendas that do not want the stability of the country". He promised to "prosecute all those involved in the aggression, whether military or civilian". The GNU military prosecutor has reportedly issued a warrant for the arrest of the Prime Minister appointed by Parliament.

According to local press reports, a military convoy affiliated with Fathi Bashagha that left on Saturday 27 August 2022 from Zlitan (near Misrata) to reach the capital finally turned back.

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