Libya: rival government leaves Tripoli hours after arrival to avoid clashes

In the grip of a series of political crises and violence that have undermined the transition process since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, Libya has lived through very turbulent last hours.

Libya: rival government leaves Tripoli hours after arrival to avoid clashes

In the grip of a series of political crises and violence that have undermined the transition process since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, Libya has lived through very turbulent last hours. On Tuesday, the Libyan government appointed by Parliament and supported by the powerful Marshal Khalifa Haftar, announced that it was withdrawing from the capital Tripoli, seat of the rival executive power, after several hours of fighting triggered by its arrival.

The press service of the government appointed by Parliament indicated in the middle of the morning in a press release that its Prime Minister Fathi Bachagha and several of his ministers had "left Tripoli to preserve the security (...) of the citizens". Earlier in the night, he announced the arrival in Tripoli of Mr. Bachagha and ministers "to start the work there" of the government, triggering violent clashes in the city.

In a video broadcast by local media, Mr. Bachagha said in the morning that he had been "very well received" in Tripoli, and announced the holding of a press conference in the evening during which he would make "a speech of unity to the people Libyan”. And the Minister of the Interior of the Bachagha government, Issam Abu Zariba, had assured, before the withdrawal, that the government team would take office "peacefully" and "in accordance with the law".

UN calls for “restraint”

In the Tripoli region, both sides have the support of armed groups that are still very influential in the west of the country, but whose allegiances are traditionally shifting. "Al Nawasi", a major militia in the capital, particularly welcomed the entry of Mr. Bachagha on the night of Monday to Tuesday, before his withdrawal.

For its part, the government sitting in Tripoli and born in early 2020 from a political process sponsored by the UN, has not reacted to the events of recent hours. The UN Secretary General's Special Adviser for Libya, Stephanie Williams, for her part called on Twitter for "restraint", insisting "on the absolute necessity of refraining from any provocative action".

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Last February, Fathi Bachagha was appointed as the new Prime Minister by the Parliament sitting in the East. This body is supported by the powerful Marshal Khalifa Haftar, a strongman in eastern Libya, whose forces had tried to conquer the capital in 2019. But Mr. Bachagha had so far failed to oust the executive in place. in Tripoli, led by businessman Abdelhamid Dbeibah.


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