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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Clashes break out between militia groups in Tripoli stop briefly after mediation

According to the Libya Observer, mediation by security leaders, political activists, and a number of Tripoli and area district elders stopped clashes between rival militia in Tripoli that had been happening over the the last two days.

The clashes are described in a recent Digital Journal article. There are disagreements among different analysts about the significance of the clashes with some feeling that there was an attempt to deal with radical Islamist militia opposed to the GNA but one main clash was between militia associated with two different ministries of the GNA itself. An uneasy calm settled on Tripoli early Saturday.
According to the Libya Observer::The mediation resulted in an agreement that obliged the two armed groups in Al-Nser Park in Bab Benghashir area to leave and then hand the location to the Presidential Security Personnel of the Salvation Government before it goes under the control of Youth and Sports Ministry later.
A tweet reported that the Tripoli Medical Center received 7 bodies of civilians killed by indiscriminate firing and shelling. Another tweet notes that the Government of National Accord had nothing to do with the mediation: "#Libya | UN-backed Unity Gov't try to take credit for the ceasefire in Tripoli. Truth: Halbous+Tarhona's Kani mediated & achieved peace"
While the Observer talks of normal living conditions returning to the streets of Tripoli, tweets are coming in already that indicate clashes may be breaking out again. One tweet says: "Things r very tense family's near the forest being told to leave and sand barriers are being built hate to say it but it looks like round 2" The reference is to an area where there were clashes earlier. Although there were clashes near the Rixos hotel complex where coup plotters associated with the rival Salvation Government are located, the headquarters itself was not attacked in the clashes. The Libya Observer says the clashes took place near the Guest Places Premises, associated with Rixos hotel, and Abu Salim area in the center of the city. Roads were blocked leading to the Guest Places, and Habda Hospital.
Another tweet notes: "‏@fredwalton216 @NadiaR_LY Fwiw-Heavy weapons allegedly back on the streets near the Rixos. Family's near Forest told to leave & sand barriers being built." Two recent tweets suggest that some Misrata militias may be on the verge of clashing with a main militia in Tripoli led by Haitem Tajuri. One says: New statement by Misrata katibas also refers to abduction of Misrata fighter Lekraik by UN-allied militias in Tripoli #Libya two weeks ago. The other warns: "#Libya: After this statement, these Misrata katibas (brigades) gave Haitem Tajuri 24 hours to release Lekraik. The deadline is up tonight." Another tweet also suggests that opposition is growing against Tajuri or Al-Tajouri: " Breaking:number of #Tripoli revolutionary brigade top leadership release a statement denouncing commander Hatham altajouri and his actions." Clashes could very well be breaking out again. The eastern commander Marshal Khalifa Haftar is no doubt quite happy to see those he regards as his enemies busy fighting among themselves and weakening the UN-backed Government of National Accord, which he rejects, even further.


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