Libyan Unity Government calls for general mobilization in the face of a possible civil war “in the coming hours”.

Egypt launches emergency effort to bring about ceasefire amid fighting between rival militias in Tripoli

Rival administration forces from the east of the country arrive on the outskirts of the capital in the beginning of a siege operation

The Libyan Unity Government, which is based in the country’s capital, Tripoli, has called on Saturday for the general mobilization of the population in the face of the fighting that has broken out in recent hours between rival militias and the advance of forces loyal to the parallel administration in the east of the country, which threaten to drag the country “into civil war in the coming hours.”

“We call on all Libyan men and women in the capital, Tripoli, and in all Libyan cities to take a serious and genuine national position against anyone who wants to start a war inside the capital to achieve or preserve personal gains,” the unity prime minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibé, has made known in a statement reported by the portal Ein News.

The fighting between the so-called Support and Stability Force, under the orders of the unity government, against militias led by Haitem Tajouri, and has so far resulted in at least 13 dead and 95 wounded, according to the latest balance published by the Ministry of Health of the Government of National Unity and collected by the Libyan news portal Panorama.

The fighting in Tripoli, according to sources of the Libya Observer, would not have started directly related to the offensive of the eastern forces, but would have been rather the result of the prevailing tension in the face of the advance. In fact, these sources recall that the Tajouri militias, Brigade 777, are not part of any military or security institution. However, they ended up opening fire on a convoy of a force under the Government of National Unity (GNU) under the fear that they were going to be attacked.

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The conflict immediately spread to several neighborhoods of the city, mainly in the districts of Zawiya and Al Jumuriya, scene of “big fires”. Right now Tajouri’s forces have lost several of the positions but, according to the Observer’s sources, they are still holding out waiting for reinforcements to arrive from Misrata or from the south, where the forces of the Libyan commander akin to the forces in the east of the country, Usama Juweili, have been threatening for some time to join the conflict, and have even attacked the airport road.

To this chaotic situation inside the capital must be added the advance of a convoy of forces loyal to the self-proclaimed “prime minister” of the east of the country, Fazi Bashaga, who would be right now fighting to advance towards the center of the capital after trying to take control of the entrance of Janzour, in the west of the city, Al Arabiya sources report.

Another large convoy of more than 300 vehicles belonging to Bashaga is also reported to have left Zliten, 150 kilometers east of Tripoli, along the coastal road. Bashaga has been living for weeks in Misrata, near Misrata.

The United Nations, the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as the African Union, have implored the authorities to refrain from taking measures that would increase the violence, while the president of the Presidential Transitional Council, the body recognized by the United Nations to manage the transition process in Libya, Mohamed Menfi, has been forced to bring forward the end of his official visit to Tunisia in order to return to the country as a matter of urgency.

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In the last few hours, Al Arabiya sources have reported that Egyptian negotiators have launched an emergency initiative to achieve a cease-fire between the parties and prevent at the last minute Libya from ending up once again immersed in a civil war.

ON THE BRINK OF A RETURN TO CHAOS

Three a brief period of relative calm after years of open fighting over the death of Muammar Qaddafi, the country is once again divided into two administrations.

The House of Representatives, based in the east of the country, terminated Dbeibé’s mandate because of the postponement of the December presidential elections and ended up appointing Bashaga, in the beginning of a conflict that has spread to the country’s energy sector, absolutely essential to sustain the economy of a nation ruined after years of civil war.

It should be recalled that Bashaga has tried to take control of Tripoli as many as twice — on July 22, clashes left 16 dead and about 50 wounded — before resigning to avoid a full-blown armed struggle. Right now his government is based in the city of Sirte, but the eastern prime minister has been threatening for days to carry out a final offensive against the capital.

Dbeibé came to power after the historic 2020 ceasefire that ended a year of fighting between forces in Tripoli and in the east of the country, led by rebel Marshal Jalifa Haftar.

The transitional government was mandated to take the country to elections last December, but they never took place due to divisions over the rules and the presence of controversial candidates, culminating in the controversial appointment of Bashaga.

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