The Libya capital remains in a state of uncertainty today with both the UN backed government and that of the resurgent National Salvation Government, who staged a dramatic coup on Friday claiming sovereignty over the country. This is in addition the eastern government currently based in Tobruk.
Members of Tripoli’s former government, The General national Congress, (GNC) led by the country’s previous Prime Minister, Khalifa Ghwell seized control of the Rixos Hotel and its surrounding buildings on Friday evening, declaring the UN backed, Government of National Accord, (GNA) “void.”
In a surprise move earlier today, the bulk of the Presidential Guard, the elite force established by the GNA to guard senior government officials and state buildings announced that they had lost confidence in the Libyan Political Agreement, (intended as the blueprint for establishing political unity) and were shifting their allegiance to the GNC. The Guard then proceeded to handover control of the UN backed government’s headquarters to the insurgent government.
بيان على قناة التناصح(الحرس الرئاسى)
يقول انه سلم المقرات للمؤتمر الوطنى صاحب الشرعيةالوحيد وفق لحكم المحكمةالدستورية
بعدفشل المجلس الرئاسى pic.twitter.com/3IeJywHd96
— salem.Ghanem3 (@Ghanem3Salem) October 16, 2016
It is understood the GNA has since ordered the arrest of the defecting members of the Presidential Guard as well as those individuals involved within the Coup itself.
Responding to coup leader Ghwell’s call on Friday for the establishment of a national government outside of that proposed by the United Nations, the eastern House of Representatives, (HoR) noted the “chaos” in Tripoli and confirmed that it was prepared to investigate the offer. However, it cautioned that any negotiations would proceed on the understanding that Ghwell would accept the HoR as the sole legitimate power within Libya.
According to the Libya Herald, The Rixos Hotel remains under guard by irregular, heavily armed units with vehicles carrying no markings and gunmen in civilian clothing.
Reports on social media indicate that clashes have remained ongoing between rival militia groups after the announcement of Friday’s coup, with one woman killed and six injured at a Tawergha refugee camp.
Prior to joining Tunisia Live, Simon worked as a freelance journalist. He has lived in Tunisia since 2013 and previously worked in Vietnam and Moscow.