US Stresses Need for De-Escalation in Libya


On Saturday, the US Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland held a meeting with the Head of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed Al-Mnifi in Tunis. This is amid intense fighting that erupted in the Libyan capital on Friday night.

During the meeting, Norland stressed the importance of ending the violent clashes in Tripoli, and the need for de-escalation.

“We agreed on the urgent need to finalize a constitutional basis and move towards elections, and also on the importance of taking steps to enhance transparency and accountability in the management of Libyan oil revenues,” the US Embassy tweeted.

At least one person was killed and five others wounded during the clashes, a health official said.
Footage circulated online showed houses and vehicles damaged from the fighting.

The Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade (TRB) affiliated with the commander Haitham Al-Tajouri clashed with the Stabilization Support Apparatus (SSA) affiliated with Abdel-Ghani Al-Kikli (Gheniwa).

According to witnesses, the TRB managed to defeat SSA forces, take control of the internal security headquarters on Al-Jumhuriya Street, seize dozens of cars, and detain three people.

Fighting broke out in various districts of Tripoli between groups armed with both heavy and light weapons. Libya’s two rival governments yet again vie for power in the oil-rich, but impoverished North African country.

Gunshots and explosions rang through the darkened streets of Tripoli, according to media reports.

Local media reported Saturday that the Coastal Road linking the cities of Al-Khoms and Zliten was closed. This was in anticipation of the movement of forces from Misrata towards Tripoli.

The crisis pits groups that back the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU), led by incumbent Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba, against supporters of a rival government led by Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha.

Bashagha was appointed in February by the Libyan Parliament, but has since been unable to enter Tripoli.