The intensity of differences between some militias in Tripoli and Government of National Accord (GNA) head Fayez al-Sarraj have escalated again, after hundreds of militia elements and mercenaries gathered in front of the GNA headquarters on Sunday to express their rejection of Sarraj’s recent decisions.
The position of the militias, which predominantly belong to Misrata, comes after Sarraj appointed Imad Trabelsi as the deputy head of Libyan intelligence and Mohammad Baayo as head of the Libyan Media Foundation, in a move understood as an attempt by the prime minister to maintain a balance between the peoples of Tripoli and Misrata after the latter had proven their ability to exercise influence.
The return of Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha to his post is the latest incident that shed light on the influence of the Misratans in Tripoli, as they managed through military demonstrations and exerting political pressure to force Sarraj to go back on his decision to arrest Bashagha, whom the prime minister had accused of mishandling the demonstrations that occurred in the capital in August, which caused deaths.
Use of weapons
The demonstrations this time enjoy a special nature, as some of the participants raised demands for the use of weapons against Sarraj, while some accounts on Facebook adopted the logic of using force to implement these demands.
As soon as the militias actually resorted to arms in their intra-regional disputes, the situation in militia-controlled Tripoli became worse.
The differences are rooted in a struggle over positions between Sarraj and the militias affiliated with Tripoli on the one hand and Misratan officials and militias on the other hand.
The severity of these differences was exacerbated by the Misratans’ use of Syrian mercenaries, which prompted the Tripoli militias to sense anxiety and warn against bullying the Syrians to overthrow them.
Libyan writer Fatima Ghandour agrees with the increasing complexity of the scene due to the inter-regional differences between the militias in Tripoli that support the GNA, saying in previous statements to the Reference that the conflict over interests is the motive behind all these conflicts.
Ghandour ruled out that Turkey would intervene to resolve the dispute between its allies, explaining that Turkey is dealing the Libyan file seeking maximum opportunism. She therefore expects that Turkey will stand on the side of the victor and sacrifice the losing party.