Libya: Bashagha tries to remove Al Serraj in a coup
In a statement released Sunday evening, the general command of the Libyan National Army (LNA) of General Khalifa Haftar expressed deep concern over the security chaos and violations sweeping the western regions of Libya. “The General Command closely follows developments in Tripoli and supports measures to combat terrorism, extended order, and eliminate the causes of chaos that threaten the security and safety of our people and our country.
Including the measures taken to put an end to the incursion of Syrian armed militias and mercenary groups, managed by foreign poles for their interests. Fathi Bashagha is trying to implement their colonial ambitions on our land, “said the note released by LNA spokesman Ahmed Al-Mismari.
The command also indicated that “the current non-intervention of the Libyan national army in stabilization operations in the west of the country does not at all mean that we allow our people to face this fate. Rather, it means that we allow the wise representatives of the tribes and regions of western Libya to work alone to spread the system in those areas.
” Finally, the declaration reiterated that “the Libyan national army is looking forward to these steps leading to the launch of a successful political process, to put an end to the suffering of the honourable citizen.” These words comment on a rapid succession of events in the capital Tripoli, following massive youth protests against unbearable living conditions, corruption of state officials, and protracted conflict fuelled by Russia and Turkey.
Peaceful youth movements have been quelled in many cases by armed groups affiliated with the Interior Ministry of the Government of National Accord (GNA). For four consecutive days, GNA armed militias opened fire on protesters, killing a boy in Ghout al-Shaal and injuring at least two women on Friday evening. The same groups carried out dozens of arrests among activists.
Despite appeals from the UN Mission and international organizations such as Amnesty International, while some have been released, others are still in detention in the prisons of the Nawasi Brigade and the Gnewa militia.Bashagha had ordered the shooting of live bullets on demonstrators in Tripoli to embarrass al-Sarraj and weaken his position internationally to facilitate his removal.
On Friday evening, while Bashagha was in Turkey with the president of the High Council of State Khaled al-Meshri, the Presidential Council (GNA) decided to suspend the Minister of the Interior, as a precaution, on condition that he presents himself for an administrative investigation before the Presidential Council within 72 hours. In its resolution n. 562 of 2020, the PC affirmed that the inquiry into Bashagha concern permits, authorizations, and the provision of the necessary protection of demonstrators. Also, he has to explain his previous statements regarding the demonstrations in Tripoli and some cities of Libya.
Fayez al Serraj has assigned to the Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior, Brigadier General Khaled Ahmed Al-Tijani Mazen, the management of the tasks of the ministry, giving him all the powers and administrative responsibilities.Bashagha attempted to orchestrate a coup Al Sarraj, hence the decision to stop his functions as the Minister of Interiors. On Sunday morning, minister Bashagha arrived in Tripoli from Turkey under the protection of the militias RADA and other groups from Misrata.
Bashagha was seeking a coup using the Syrian mercenaries through promises he made to them to obtain Libyan citizenship, and give them greater privileges than Libyan fighters, and as soon as the information reached Fayez al-Sarraj he opened an investigation into this matter. That’s why the militias of the Tripoli Protection Force have renewed their full commitment to the instructions of the Presidency Council regarding security control and protection of the homeland and the citizen.
The militias called the recent decisions of the Prime Minister”audacious”, as they confirm “the strength of legitimate authority, and that no one is above the law.” Serraj assigned the joint force in the western region – a coalition of armed gangs led by former NATO taxi driver Osama al-Juwaily – to monitor security in the capital, in coordination with the Interior Ministry, military regions, and other armed groups. Also, there are signs of disagreements and conflict between militias on Facebook pages such as the Tripoli Protection Force, the August 23 movement, and other pages operated under the GNA, showing rejection to foreign interventions hinting at Turkey and Syrian mercenaries.