18-24 March: Eastern parallel al-Thanni government hands over power to GNU

Mar 24, 2021 | Libyan actors

This week the parallel eastern al-Thanni government handed over power to the Government of National Unity (GNU), amidst ongoing and small scale intra-militia conflicts in Tripoli.

On 18 March, GNU Prime Minister Abdul Hameed Dabaiba ordered an investigation after a number of bodies were discovered in Benghazi. According to social media reports, more than a dozen bodies were discovered near a cement factory in Hawari neighbourhood and on a local beach by security authorities in eastern Benghazi. The victims were alleged to have been handcuffed and shot in the head.

On 18 March, social media sources reported unrest in Abu Salim in the south of Tripoli, accompanied by the deployment of armoured vehicles and technicals by the Stability Support Apparatus (SSA). The mobilisation allegedly followed the kidnapping of Fathi al-Kikli, the brother of the SSA’s commander, Abdul Ghani al-Kikli, also known as ‘Ghinaywa’.

On 23 March, the eastern parallel government of Abdullah al-Thanni handed over power to the new GNU. The GNU’s Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Qatrani arrived in Benghazi with a delegation of GNU ministers. Abdullah al-Thanni stated he hoped that the GNU will end Libya’s political division and lamented the lack of funding that has prevented the eastern government from carrying out its projects.