In Libya, clashes shook Libya’s capital early Tuesday as parliament-appointed Fatih Basha was ousted by a rival government that refused to hand over power when the prime minister tried to take over the Libyan government.
Bashaga entered Tripoli overnight after two months of a stalemate between Libya’s rival administrations, but withdrew hours later when fighting broke out.
The crisis risks returning Libya to a long war after two years of relatively peaceful peace, or a split between the eastern-backed government of Bashaga and the government of Tripoli, led by Abdulhamid Aldbeiba.
The political stalemate has already partially blocked Libya’s oil facilities, cutting its main source of foreign income in half. Diplomacy to resolve the crisis or set the stage for a new election is progressing slowly.
Prime Minister Bashaga said last week he would not use violence to take over the capital, speaking in the central coastal city of Sirte, where he said parliament should lay the groundwork for government while he was unable to work in Tripoli.
He said he entered Tripoli without an armed escort but was attacked by warriors allied with DeVyba. Dbeibah denounced Bashagha’s entry into Tripoli with his fighters as “an illegal armed group trying to infiltrate the capital in the dark”.
Heavy firearms and automatic gunshots were heard throughout Tripoli on Tuesday morning. Schools were canceled and rush hour traffic was generally congested, but the clashes stopped after Bashagha’s evacuation.
Libyan expert Jalel Harchaoui said “I don’t think things will turn around cold, static and comfortable,” adding that Dbeibah will put more pressure on Tripoli’s faction allied with Bashagha.
However, he said, no bigger conflict is likely given Bashaga’s quick withdrawal from Tripoli.
Libya appears to be in a stalemate for a longer period, with neither side appearing to be able to secure a decisive military advantage over the country as a whole.
This could extend the closure of a major oil facility for the Eastern Libyan army, which is linked to Commander Khalifa Haftar, who supports Bashaga.
In Washington, a State Department spokeswoman said the State Department is very concerned about the violence and has urged all armed groups to refrain from violence.
Libya remains largely secure after a split between rival East-West factions before the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi and a 2020 ceasefire under Deveyba’s fragile unified government in 2014.
Plans for the December presidential election were thwarted due to disputes between major camps and prominent candidates over rules. Congress, which had sided with the East during the war, also moved to appoint a new administration.
The unified government’s prime minister, Dbeibah, rejected the parliament’s move, saying his administration remains in effect and will hand over power only after the election.
Former Interior Minister Bashagha, who likes Dbeibah, is from the powerful coastal city of Misrata and has repeatedly said that he will enter Tripoli without violence. His previous attempts ended in convoys blocked by rival factions.
Parliament last week said that the prime minister could work for the time being in Sirte, the central city near the frozen frontline between East-West factions.
Diplomacy has focused on dialogue between the parliament and the Tripoli-based legislature to lay the groundwork for another attempt to resolve the conflict in Libya through elections.
Libya’s Basha briefly attempted to enter Tripoli after clashes – SABC News
Source link Libya’s Basha briefly attempted to enter Tripoli after clashes – SABC News