Panafrican News Agency

Intransigence of Libya's two prime ministers risks military confrontation. says newspaper

Tripoli, Libya (PANA) - The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan has ended with no major security incidents or armed clashes occurring between the two warring camps in Libya.

However, the entrenchment of positions by the two prime ministers, Abdelhamid Al-Dbaiba and Fathi Bachagha, shows the risk of a military confrontation, the Libyan newspaper, Al-Wassat, has noted.

This situation is prevailing at a time when Washington is concerned about the continuation of the blockade of oil sites and the UN is continuing its efforts to organise elections in order to end the political crisis. 

Mr. Bachagha, whose Government of National Stability (GNS) was appointed by parliament, is trying, with his ministers, to prove the presence of his government on the ground, through his tour in parts of the country including several regions in the east and south, the newspaper said.

He has also tried to persuade those concerned in the Oil Crescent region to unblock the blockade of oil ports, despite the lack of financial resources to prepare the state budget.

Al-Wassat newspaper reported that the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity, Al-Dbaiba, has responded to the actions of his rival, by announcing an agreement to resume oil production in a few days, through a committee he formed with the Oil Ministry to communicate with elders and dignitaries in the areas adjacent to the oil operations.

Protesters have been breaking into several oil sites in different parts of Libya since mid-April, demanding the handover of power to Bachagha to start operations from Tripoli.

Against the background, Mr. Bachagha has reaffirmed his refusal to exercise his functions from Sirte, in central Libya, or Sebha in the south.

In a statement he threatened countries interfering in Libya's affairs that his government will not stand idly by and prevent him from working from Tripoli, pointing out that "his patience will not last in the face of the dangers facing the country".

He accused Dbaiba of manipulating the people's financial resources by giving them to illegal armed groups.

On the military level, the Libyan weekly said the threat by Mr. Bachagha coincided with a warning by Major General Ahmed Al-Mesmari, spokesman of the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, to Mr. Al-Dbaiba continuing to be in office. 

The newspaper quoted the Chief of General Staff of the army loyal to the GNU, Lieutenant General Mohamed Al-Haddad, expressing fears of the political conflict between the two governments turning into armed clashes.

The newspaper said that the security situation in Tripoli and southern Libya remains extremely fragile.

In the face of this internal balance between the two camps, the newspaper reported that the two parties are seeking regional and international support for their governments, citing the visit of Al-Dbaiba to Algeria, which supported the implementation of an initiative to hold parliamentary elections next June.

Egypt, which is allied to the Parliament headed by Aguila Saleh, has given its support to the government of Fathi Bachagha, it said.

Meanwhile, the newspaper said that Bachagha claimed that his meeting with "senior US officials" means he has the support of the Administration of US Joe Biden.

In parallel to the power struggle between the two governments, the newspaper said that the debate continues on the fate of the draft constitution.

 -0- PANA BY/IS/MTA/MA 2May2022