The parliament-appointed Libyan government of Fathi Baschagha has announced its move to Tripoli, home of the internationally recognized government of Abdelhamid Dbeibah. Baschagha had already arrived in the Libyan capital, accompanied by several ministers, to start work there, his press service said during the night.
Shortly thereafter, supporters of the two rival governments clashed in Tripoli. Correspondents reported fierce fighting before dawn. The television showed video clips said to show fighting in the city center and in the port. schools were closed. Baschagha has now left Tripoli, his office has announced.
Bashagha supported by General Haftar
On February 10, parliament appointed Baschagha to head an interim government in the city of Tobruk in the east of the country. Baschagha is backed by the influential General Chalifa Haftar, who unsuccessfully tried to take Tripoli in 2019. Baschagha should replace Abdelhamid Dbeibah, who has headed the government in Tripoli since 2020. However, Dbeibah only wants to cede power to a government elected by the people.
The internationally recognized Libyan Prime Minister Dbeibah only wants to leave office after regular elections
Dbeibah and Baschagha can each count on the support of rival armed groups. The United Nations and Western countries are urging Dbeibah to fulfill its mission and continue to organize elections. These were originally planned for December last year, but have been postponed indefinitely. However, Dbeibah’s political rivals believe his mandate has come to an end with this postponement.
Since the fall of longtime ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been shaken by violence and power struggles. Foreign soldiers and mercenary groups from Russia and Turkey, for example, are also involved in local fighting.
sti/ww (afp, ap, rtr)