Shelling intensify in Tripoli; Many dead


Libya LibyaLibya continues to be one of the main priorities of the European political agenda. On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the Libyan dossier with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi in the bilateral session at the European summit in Slovenia. The discussions focused on the increasingly concrete threat that those who work to postpone the elections in Libya scheduled for December 24 will eventually succeed.

The two leaders fear that a shift could open a new phase of violence and conflict. Faced with the newfound uncertainty in the stabilization path, Macron decided to organize a recent summit on Libya scheduled in Paris on November 12. Still, it did not repeat the past mistakes when he summoned the protagonists of the Libyan crisis without consulting Rome. “There is close coordination between Italy, France, and Germany to implement the commitments made in Berlin and which must materialize in Paris,” commented Rome on the Draghi-Macron bilateral sidelines.

The French leader wants to insist on keeping the vote at all costs, even if behind the scenes, he is not ruling out changing the date of December 24. “We believe that it is in everyone’s interest that Libyans respect their commitment to hold elections by the end of the year,” explains a source to the Elysée, adding: “If not by the end of the year, at least on a date foreseeable and agreed. “ In Macron’s entourage, there is the suspicion that Ankara is trying to sabotage the electoral appointment on which, among other things, Marshal Haftar, in the past protected and aided by France, has positioned himself.

“We demand that Turkey exert all its influence to achieve the objective of the vote,” they told the Elysée. Even on the withdrawal of foreign mercenaries in Libya, which should occur before the vote, the tug-of-war is open. “The Russians told us they were ready to withdraw Wagner’s militiamen,” confides a Macron adviser. “We hope that the Turks will be able to make the same commitment, but there is still a lot of work to do,” adds the same source, recalling that already in Berlin, the Turks had put a caveat on the part of the agreement that concerned the withdrawal of the militias.

On the Italian side, however, some observe that one of the reasons that could lead to the vote’s postponement is the interest of the interim prime minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah to remain in his post. Therefore, he might postpone as far as possible the day of an electoral test that would lead to choosing his successor. In his international meetings, even with envoys from multilateral organizations, Dbeibah has been asking insistently for days, “but what happens if we don’t manage to vote? What is Plan B?”.

Dbeibah’s political opponents, who want to vote to return to the political game forcefully, are starting to denounce his game. Firstly, they blocked the launch of a budget for the government, funds that Dbeibah would use for his “election campaign.” General Khalifa Haftar and the president of Parliament Agila Salah in the East, the former vice president Ahmed Maetig and the former interior minister Fathi Bashaga in Tripoli will all be candidates: they push for the vote.

An essential element, which could be decisive in favor of the vote, is the position of the American government: yesterday in Paris, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The Americans want to move towards the political normalization of the country. In addition, they want the Russian and Turkish (Syrian) mercenaries who supported the two opposing urged the warring sides to stop fighting each other and instead turn their energies to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. These violations are being documented to be shared with the International Criminal Court, according to the UN Mission in Libya.

On Saturday, another shell fired at a home in a residential neighborhood killed four people from the same family, according to government sources. The incident happened around Iftar, the time when Muslims break their fast for the day during the month of Ramadan, and there was a delay in getting ambulances to reach the site of the attack.

A spokesperson for the rebels said that they weren’t breaking any international laws and strived to protect diplomatic and civilian areas. These attacks have been carried out by “terrorists” who were trying to malign Haftar’s campaign, they said. The two sides in Libya’s civil war have been fighting each other since 2015, after being unable to agree on the direction the country must take after the death of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The east and west campaigns are being backed by different foreign powers.

Violence grips Libya’s capital with the rebel forces launching a desperate attack to reclaim Tripoli from the officially-recognized government.

Related News: How world reacted to Haftar’s unilaterally revocation of Libyan Political Agreement



Roshan Amiri is an advocate for the truth. He believes that it's important to speak out and fight for what's right, no matter what the cost. Amiri has dedicated his life to fighting for social justice and creating a better future for all.

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