Panafrican News Agency

Libyan newspaper highlights risk of military confrontation after show of force between two rival prime ministers

Tripoli, Libya (PANA) - The Libyan newspaper "Al-Wasat" this week dwelt on the risks of direct military confrontation in Libya due to the existence of two governments in the North African country.

Under the title "Demonstrations of force raise fears of a return to the Shock Square", the Al-Wasat newspaper said that the new political crisis threatens to undermine the fragile peace, especially with the military divisions reported in the western region, fuelled by successive demonstrations and statements by supporters of the two governments.

On the other hand, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, along with influential countries, prefers to remain neutral, while calling for a return to the electoral process, pending the outcome of developments in the country, according to Al-Wasat.

The weekly newspaper published in Cairo, Egypt, said that in the face of this situation, fears are growing that the current political conflict will erupt into an armed confrontation between the supporters of the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdelhamid al-Dbaiba and the Prime Minister of the Government of National Stability, Fathi Bachagha.

It was thanks to local and international good offices that a fratricidal clash was narrowly avoided.

In a sign of escalation, the newspaper said, al-Dbaiba's government closed the domestic airspace to prevent the ministers of Mr. Bashagha's government from the western region from flying to the eastern city of Tobruk from taking their oaths of office in parliament. This prompted local and international outrage.

Mr. Bachagha, who was the former interior minister in the former Government of National Accord, tried to send pre-emptive reassurances, according to the newspaper, that his takeover will be by "the force of law" and not by "the law of force".

Al-Wasat reported that, in a message to the international community, Bashagha promised to hold elections, demanding their support, again rejecting the war and criticising Mr. Dbaiba, who "wasted state money without a plan".

In response, in what appears to be a message to the outside world, the newspaper reported that Mr. al-Dbaiba tried to convince the heads of foreign diplomatic missions of his efforts to end the extension of the transitional period.

He proposed a roadmap based on the organisation of parliamentary elections and a referendum on the draft constitution by the end of June, in accordance with the roadmap adopted by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.

-0- PANA BY/JSG/BBA/MA 12March2022