Clashes Erupt Between Armed Groups in Libya’s Sabratha

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On Friday evening, clashes erupted between armed groups in Libya’s northwestern coastal city of Sabratha. According to media reports, the fighting was fierce, with explosions heard in the Dahman district of the city.

Sources confirmed that the clashes erupted between the Abdel-Ghaffar Al-Suwai’i (Al-Tandra) led militia from Sabratha, and the Abnaa Al-Kabu from Al-Zawiyah city.

It is reported that the clashes were due to family issues, between the leaders of the two militias. Various types of medium and heavy weapons were reportedly used during the fighting.

Libya has been engulfed in instability and civil conflicts since the overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Western Libya continues to suffer from the control of militias, as Tripoli has witnessed a new wave of insecurity and clashes between armed militias. Violent clashes have recently erupted between Al-Far and Ghneiwa, leading to extensive damage to the Al-Zawiya Oil Refinery Complex.

Other clashes in the Al-Farnaj district of Tripoli took place between Ghneiwa and the Judicial Police Affiliated with the (RADA) Special Deterrence Forces led by Abdel-Rauf Kara.

These events show that despite the political progress being made, the country remains under the control of militias and armed groups.

Notably, Libya is currently facing a political crisis after the Libyan Parliament swore in former Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha, to lead a new interim government in February. MP’s argued that incumbent Prime Minister, Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba’s mandate expired when elections failed to take place in December.

Dbaiba has since refused to cede power, and warned that the appointment of a new government could lead to war and chaos in the country. He renewed his pledge to only hand power over to an elected government.