EU Concerned about Libya’s Fragile Security Situation


Following the latest violent clashes in Tripoli, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell has drawn attention to the ongoing fragility of Libya’s security situation. He emphasised the critical necessity for swift elections, to establish a durable and comprehensive political solution.

In a statement issued on Wednesday regarding the escalating armed clashes in Tripoli, Borrell stated, “The European Union is deeply concerned and actively monitoring the unfolding violent events in Libya.”

While clashes in Tripoli appear to have subsided, the EU’s top diplomat urged all parties to continue to refrain from hostilities, and to engage in dialogue in order to de-escalate the situation and restore calm.

He also called on all parties involved to uphold their obligations under International Humanitarian Law, and to ensure the protection of civilians.

Borrell affirmed that Libyans “are tired of being caught in crossfire and deserve their aspirations for peace to be finally heard and fulfilled. The latest events are a vivid reminder of the fragility of the security situation in Libya and the urgent need for elections in order to find a sustainable and inclusive political solution.The EU reiterates its firm support to the mediation efforts led by the UN and its representative on the ground, Abdoulaye Bathily.”

Earlier yesterday, Libya’s Emergency Medical Centre reported 27 people dead, and 106 wounded during the two-days of fighting in Tripoli, according to Al-Ahrar TV.

Fierce fighting broke out on Monday night, and continued through Tuesday between the influential 444th Brigade and the Al-Radaa, or Special Deterrence Force (SDF).

These clashes underscore the ongoing power struggles among various militias since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Last year, Tripoli witnessed battles between rival administrations, resulting in 32 fatalities and 159 injuries.

Libya has faced a decade of intermittent conflict, since the NATO-backed uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. Despite relative stability, the recent fighting has raised concerns about the scheduled elections, and prompted international calls for calm.

The clashes were triggered by the detention of Mahmoud Hamza, the commander of the 444th Brigade, by the SDF on Monday.

The situation de-escalated after the dignitaries of Souq Al-Jumaa announced on Tuesday evening that Hamza would be handed over to a neutral entity, supervised by the Souq Al-Jumaa Social Council and the Four Districts. This also encompassed halting all military actions, returning units to their military barracks, and assessing public and private property damages, ensuring compensations are provided by the government.

Both armed groups involved in the clashes are aligned with the government. The conflict forced the evacuation of 234 families in Tripoli’s southern suburbs, along with dozens of doctors and paramedics providing care to the wounded.