GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha Reinstated After 6-Day Suspension

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On Thursday, Prime Minister of Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez Al-Sarraj reinstated Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha after a six day suspension.

On August 28, Al-Sarraj suspended Bashagha from his duties, referring the Interior Minister to investigation over his handling of protests that erupted in Tripoli on August 23.

Since Sunday, protests over worsening living conditions and corruption have escalated in Tripoli. Armed forces have used gunfire to disperse demonstrators and the GNA has imposed a 24-hour curfew for four days to curb the protests.

Amnesty International stated that at least six protesters were reportedly abducted. The GNA has threatened to use force to disperse the demonstrations.

There have long been tensions between armed groups from Tripoli and Misrata. Those from Misrata dominated the capital for several years. They later lost their foothold to the Tripoli-based groups.

The contrasting standpoint of the two has led to splits along numerous axis, and led to an existential threat to the Tripoli government.

Bashagha has publicly challenged Al-Sarraj, further weakening his government. He has also made an unannounced trip to Turkey, with critics claiming he was lobbying for support during this particular crisis and to be considered as Al-Sarraj’s replacement.