Coup leaders in Libya continue to hold headquarters at Roxios hotel in Tripoli

It is now a week (October 21) since members of the General National Congress (GNC) Salvation government seized the headquarters of the High State Council of the Government of National Accord (GNA)

The High State Council is composed of former members of the GNC who now support the GNA. It is mainly an advisory body although recently declared that it was now also the legislature of the GNA. The coup leaders claim that they are the legitimate government of Libya even though no international powers recognize them and all their ministries went over to the GNA. However, there is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the performance of the GNA. The Presidential Guard, whose function is to guard the Council and others within the GNA defected and support the coup.
The Libya Herald says there are unconfirmed reports that the Presidency Council(PC) of the GNA has given the coup plotters who hold the former headquarters of the Council at the Rixos hotel complex three days to give themselves up or face an attack. However, PC member Mohamed al-Amari insists the the GNA will use legal action to end the coup led by Khalifa Ghwell. In a meeting with the U.K. ambassador Peter Millet, Amari, noted that PM Faiez Serraj had instructed the Attorney General to issue an arrest warrant for the group. So far there are no signs of any arrests.
Many have condemned the coup, including the UN, EU and U.S. Mohammed al-Ghasri, spokesperson for Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous (Solid Structure or BAM) the collection of militia mostly from Misrata, also condemned the coup attempt. However, this created a strong reaction among some of the brigades including the Al-Marsa Al-Kubra Brigade. The senior leader Abdelsamea Khadoura said the statement was wrongly timed and favored one political party over another: “The Spokesman’s statement can create disorder and defection among the fighters. His statement was not coordinated with any of the leaders of the fighting front lines in Sirte; all of them were taken by surprise as they saw him on TV.” Khadoura said that military figures should keep out of politics and focus on defeating the Islamic State.
More evidence of a split within the BAM forces was shown by a demonstration in Tripoli today. A tweet notes: "#Libya | 120 armed vehicle from Misrata's ElMarsa+315 Brigades tour capital Tripoli tonight in a show of support for former parliament (GNC)". Another tweetsays: "Military parade in the streets of #Tripoli tonight showing support to the GNC & Salvation Govt. #Libya." A final tweet says: "They paraded at Martyrs Square and then returned to the former women's military academy. In the heart of Tripoli...3:03 PM - 21 Oct 2016."
One source reports:Major conflict is feared between pro-GNA militias in Tripoli, like those led by Haithem Tajouri and Abdel Ghani al-Kikli (known as Gheniwa), and Islamist and Misratan militias who support Khalifa al-Ghwell and a GNC comeback. Both forces have mobilised extensive arms on the streets in Tripoli in anticipation of a showdown. Although Tajouri and Gheniwa nominally support the GNA, they have so far focused only on protecting the areas of Tripoli which they control. Gheniwa is refusing to start a war on his turf, which is where the Presidential Palaces seized by Ghwell are located, while Tajouri has barricaded Tripoli’s Martyr’s Square to prevent hard-liners and Islamist forces from gathering there and triggering clashes.However, it seems that pro-GNC forces have already been demonstrating their strength in parades through Tripoli. The GNA shows no sign of strength while the coup plotters appear to be gaining support.


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