On Thursday, the Libyan Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha removed the Minister of Water Resources, Mohamed Doma from his position and referred him for administrative investigations.
According to the decision, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Al-Qatrani will be temporarily assigned the tasks of the Ministry of Water Resources. The decision did not explain the reason for the suspension of Doma from his work.
On 10 February, the Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, Ageela Saleh announced the unanimous appointment of Bashagha as the new Prime Minister. But incumbent PM Abdul-Hamid Dbaiba warned that the appointment of a new interim government could lead to war and chaos in the country. He renewed his pledge to only hand power over to an elected government.
Libya has been mired in a political crisis since the fall of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011. Observers fear that Libya will return to having two opposing governments, threatening the nation’s vital oil sector.
On Sunday, the US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland said that the current differences between the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity (GNU) Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba, and his rival, Fathi Bashagha, can only be resolved through elections.
“I was encouraged in calls this evening with GNU PM Dbaiba and Fathi Bashagha to hear both leaders commit themselves to avoid violence, and finding ways to deescalate the situation in the wake of the recent tragic deaths,” the Ambassador said in a series of tweets on the US Embassy’s official Twitter account.
Last week, Tripoli witnessed armed clashes between rival militias, followed by more clashes on Saturday on the outskirts of Misrata. This raised fears about the collapse of the 2020 ceasefire agreement.
The clashes took place a few days after “a rare meeting between senior military leaders from western and eastern Libya to name a single Chief of Staff to unify the military institution.” Several people were killed, including civilians and the clashes resulted in damage to vehicles and homes.
The reason for the fighting was the arrest of a member of the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade, led by Ayoub Abu Rass, by RADA forces.