Grim future awaits Government of National Accord in Libya amid conflict between leaders

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Sun, 30 Aug 2020 - 01:14 GMT

Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) logo – Facebook page

Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) logo – Facebook page

CAIRO – 30 August 2020: News about a shadowed dispute between Head of the Presidential Council of Libya and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj, and his Minister of Interior Fathy Bashagha has been circulating. Now, such conflict has risen to the surface amid fears of evolving into an armed one.

 

 Sources told Sky News Arabia that Tripoli militias had foiled a coup attempt by Bash Agha, Chairman of the High Council of State Khaled al-Meshri, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Sources told Al Arabiya Saturday that Turkey sent a security delegation to Tripoli in order contain the ongoing conflict between Sarraj and Bash Agha.

 

The sources estimated that significant consequences will ensue from such conflict, which can possibly give rise to a collision between militias affiliated to each of Sarraj and Bash Agha. The ones supporting the latter belong to Misrata from which Bash Agha descends. Such behavior is expected given Libya is a tribal society.

 

On August 28, the GNA suspended its Minister of Interior Fathi Bash Agha so he would be interrogated – within 72 hours - on the brutality committed against peaceful demonstrators during what is dubbed "August 23 Protests." His deputy, Khaled al-Tigani, was assigned to hold the post temporarily. 

 

6 Libyan protesters abducted by Al Nawasi militia in Tripoli protests: Amnesty International

CAIRO - 27 August 2020: Amnesty International stated Wednesday that it had been informed that at least six Libyan demonstrators were abducted and that several others were wounded by armed men who fired live rounds as they used heavy machine-guns to disperse peaceful protesters demanding economic rights.

 

Tripoli militias – affiliated to Sarraj - celebrated the dismissal of Bash Agha by firing guns into the air.

 

Bash Agha keeps posting on the GNA's Interior Ministry's Facebook page. He posted on August 27 photos of himself and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in Ankara saying they discussed matters of mutual interest. 

 

Former Minister of Interior at the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fathi Bash Agha (r) and Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar in Ankara on August 28, 2020. Facebook page of GNA

 

The following day he posted a statement commenting on his intended interrogation saying he wanted the interrogation to be aired live in achievement of transparency. 

 

Statement by Bash Agha on August 29, 2020
Statement by Bash Agha on August 29, 2020

 

In order to mitigate the impact of the decision, particularly after Misrata's notables had described the clash as personal, Sarraj appointed a chief of staff who was the leader of a Misrata militia.

 

The GNA appointed on August 29 evening new Minister of Defense and Chief of Staff. Those are Salah El Din Ali Al Namroush, and Mohamed Al Hadad, respectively.

 

The new minister of defense belongs to Al Zawiyah town which also witnessed protests against the GNA.  

 

Upon arrival to Tripoli's Mitiga airport, Bash Agha told press that "I'm not against any group or individual. I'm talking about a disease called corruption," as reported by France 24. Bash Agha – who took office in 2018 - was received by 300 armed vehicles that belong to Misrata militias amid tensions with Tripoli counterparts over the dismissal decision, according to Al Arabiya. 

 

Former Minister of Interior at the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fathi Bash Agha getting off a plane at Tripoli

 

As protests persisted for the sixth day in a row, militias affiliated to Sarraj blocked on August 28 the entrances of Tripoli by establishing checkpoints there.

 

Sources told Sky News Arabia that armed vehicles had left Misrata to Tripoli in order to support Al Nawasi militia and others as protesters got death threats from the GNA militants.

 

Spokesperson of "August 23 Youth's Willpower" movement, Ahmed Abou Arqoub, told Sky New Arabia that demonstrators are being oppressed by the GNA militias and "foreign mercenaries." The activist accused former GNA interior minister, Bash Agha, of funding the militias to quell the protests. 

 

United States, United Nations comment on western Libya protests less than a week of ceasefire declaration

CAIRO - 25 August 2020: Less than a week after a ceasefire was declared by Libya's Tripoli-based Government of National Accord and Tobruk-based House of Representatives, demonstrators took to the streets in Trippoli and Misrata controlled by the former to protest corruption and the deterioration of utilities prompting comments by the United States and the United Nations.

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