Written by Piero Messina
Libya is one step away from civil war. Tripoli and Sebha are the hotbeds of the rebellion, while the municipality of Misurata slams the door in the face of the UN delegation, led by Stephanie Williams and confirms that it will not participate in the elections scheduled for December 24th.
A week before the vote, tensions between rival factions bring down the house of cards built by the international community to restore a democratic path. It is now certain: the elections that should have led to the appointment of the new head of state and a new parliamentary assembly will be postponed until a later date. Probably in the spring of next year. Next Monday it will be the turn of the High Electoral Commission to ascertain the impossibility of voting. Now, however, it is necessary to understand who will be able to lead the country to the elections while avoiding yet another civil war. The government led by interim premier Ahmed Dbeibah no longer controls the country.
Tripoli, since last night, is again under the control of the militias. The capital is once again experiencing the nightmare of civil war, with entire neighborhoods without electricity and water. Since yesterday night, the streets of Tripoli have been patrolled by the vehicles of the Al Samoud Brigade, commanded by Colonel Salah Badi (the soldier who compares himself to George Washington and is under United Nations sanctions). The troops preside over the area around the building of the Government of National Unity, that of the Presidential Council and have also surrounded the Ministry of Defense since yesterday evening. Military vehicles also keep the southern area of the city under control. The rebellion broke out after the Presidential Council fired the commander of the Tripoli Military District. The commander of the military district of Tripoli, Abdel Basset Marwan was replaced – by a decision of the Libyan president Memphis – with Abdel Qader Mansour, former member of the military operations Fajr Libya, Al Bunyan Al Marsous and of Operation Vulcano of rabies. In recent weeks, Dbeibah and Menfi had also replaced the intelligence chief, appointing General Osama Al Juwaili to the top of military intelligence. The Al Samoud Brigade took control of the capital virtually without firing a shot. In recent weeks, Dbeibah and Menfi had also replaced the intelligence chief, appointing General Osama Al Juwaili to the top of military intelligence. The Al Samoud Brigade, in a note released by the militia, explained that “There will be no presidential elections and all state institutions will be closed”.
Even in Fezzan, the region richest in oil, there have been clashes. Forces linked to General Khalifa Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) have entered the southern Libyan city of Sebha after an agreement with the city’s sheikhs and notables. The reached agreement provides for the passage of the 116th Brigade – previously framed in the Ministry of Defense of the Government of National Unity of Tripoli – under the control of the forces of Cyrenaica. Command of the 118 Brigade passes from Commander Masoud al Jeddi to Ali al Deeb al Sulaimani. Sebha was surrounded by long military columns of armored vehicles and LNA tanks.
Meanwhile, Stephanie Williams’ mission in Misurata ended with a sensational flop. The United Nations envoy hoped to the last to persuade the military leaders and tribal leaders in the area to follow the electoral path. She received a sharp “no”.
In reality, at risk there are not only the elections, which are now impossible to be held. The entire unity of Libya is at stake. The country is getting closer to another division that will not be painless.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Military Situation In Libya On December 16, 2021 (Map Update)
- Libyan Elections At Risk: Clashes In Sabha Between LNA And Tripoli Army