On Tuesday, Prime Minister of Libya’s Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba dismissee his Military Intelligence Chief, Osama Al-Juwaili after the rival PM, Fathi Bashagha entered Tripoli for several hours.
Libya’s Al-Juwaili’s Deputy will serve as acting head of military intelligence, until a successor is named. The decision comes in the aftermath of yesterday’s clashes between pro-Dbaiba militias, and forces loyal to Bashagha in Tripoli.
Violent clashes erupted after Libya’s PM Bashagha failed to enter the capital. His media office said the PM left Tripoli hours after his arrival, “to stop the bloodshed and ensure the safety and security of the people.” He had entered overnight, accompanied by allied fighters in the hope of taking over the government headquarters. He was quickly met by opposition from forces aligned with Dbaiba.
Bashagha condemned the armed escalation carried out by militias affiliated with Libya’s GNU in Tripoli. He said he was surprised by the “dangerous military escalation,” despite him and his ministers entering Tripoli peacefully.
He also condemned the endangerment of civilians describing it as “a crime punishable by law.” He stressed that his government cannot “contribute to compromising the security of the capital, and its residents.”
“We came with peace, wisdom, and the priority of the national interest. We defused the strife, and we were not satisfied with keeping pace with the outlaws, and exposing civilians to danger,” Bashagha said in a statement after leaving Tripoli.
The PM-designate also denounced the “hysterical behaviour” of the outgoing government. “Their use of weapons is conclusive evidence that it is nationally and morally depraved, and does not have any credibility to hold fair and transparent elections,” he explained.
He stressed that he is “not seeking power,” but rather his administration is “determined to build a democratic civil state with an elected authority. We want a state governed by law and not governed by violence and chaos, sponsored by the outgoing government,” he concluded.