Libyan govt under Bashaga goes to Tripoli, militias clash

Executive appointed by Tobruk parliament forced to withdraw

17 May, 15:15

    ROME - The entrance into Tripoli of the Libyan government appointed in February by the Tobruk-based parliament under Fathi Bashaga did not last long, as they were forced to withdraw a few hours later on Tuesday morning due to clashes that had broken out between rival militias.

    The Bashaga government had announced its entrance into Tripoli over the night. Tripoli is the headquarters of the rival unity government under Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, which is recognised by the UN and which refuses to give up power.

    The government media service had announced in a statement the "arrival of the prime minister of the Libyan government Fathi Bashaga, accompanied by several ministers, in the capital Tripoli to begin its work there".

    The arrival of Bashaga and his delegation had sparked clashes between rival militias, as documented in a video published by Libya Review. The fighting forced the government to announce its withdrawal from the city a few hours later.

    On Monday evening, Dbeibah had ordered the air force to "hit unauthorised military movements in the capital".

    The Libya Observer quoted local sources as saying that the city was cautiously calm on Tuesday.

    The official media of Bashaga said that he had decided to leave Tripoli to "stop the bloodshed and ensure the safety" of the population.

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