The United Nations, U.N, warned of clashes in Libya, citing indications of armed groups mobilising near the capital, Tripoli, as competing governments battle for power.
There has been heightened tensions since the country’s eastern-based parliament swore in a prime minister earlier this month, in response to interim premier Abdulhamid Dbeibah’s resignation.
Video and photos which emerged online late on Thursday purportedly showed fighters loyal to Bashagha converging towards the east of Tripoli, fueling speculation that they were about to enter the Libyan capital.
Bashagha has not yet arrived in Tripoli, but has stated that he will rule the country “by force of law.”
Reports say dozens of pick-up trucks mounted with machine guns and other military hardware east of Tripoli, along a coastal road.
Following a historic 2020 truce, construction magnate Dbeibah was selected early last year with a mandate to govern the country till elections in December 2021.
After the NATO-backed 2011 rebellion that deposed and killed tyrant Muammar Gaddafi, his appointment sparked cautious optimism that the country could move past a decade of turmoil.
Dbeibah has refused to hand up authority to Fathi Bashagha, an ex-interior minister who was chosen prime minister by parliament, claiming that he remains the country’s lawful steward until elections are held.
“Reports concerning the mobilisation of forces and movement of large convoys of armed groups that have exacerbated tensions in and around Tripoli,” the U.N mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said on Twitter.
Stephanie Williams, the special adviser on Libya to U.N Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, has been attempting to mediate between the two parties.
On Thursday, she tweeted, “I urge restraint and the need to refrain from provocative acts, in word and deed, including the mobilisation of forces.”
“I renew my offer to utilise the good offices of the United Nations to mediate and assist Libyans in finding a consensual way forward.”
Copyright: News Central TV
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.