19 September – 25 September: Tentative conclusion reached to the clashes in southern Tripoli

Sep 25, 2018 | Libyan actors

On 25 September, a ceasefire was brokered between the Tripoli Protection Force (comprised of the five main GNA-affiliated Tripoli militias) and Tarhuna’s 7th Brigade that saw the latter withdraw to the areas of control agreed in the UN-brokered ceasefire of 9 September. This coincided with forces under the command of Salah Badi retreating from the Airport road. Badi has claimed that his retreat was due to the depletion of his force’s ammunition.

Throughout last week fighting escalated in Ain Zara and Wadi Rabi between the Tripoli based militias and Tarhuna’s 7th Brigade (otherwise known as the 7th Liwa or Kani or Kaniyat militia). The Ghneiwa’s Abu Salim Brigade launched an aggressive assault against the 7th Brigade, resulting in the latter’s forces withdrawing from the Yarmouk military camp on 22 September.

In southern Tripoli, near the old international airport, clashes continued between Tripoli’s Abu Saleem Central Security Force (Ghneiwa) and anti-GNA/anti-Libyan National Army (LNA) hardliner forces from Misrata led by Salah Badi, under the umbrella of the “Tripoli Liberation Operation.” The operation was renamed “Liberation of State Institutions” after the UN named Badi publicly for breaching the ceasefire agreement (although Badi’s forces were not signatory to it).

On 19 September, the so-called ‘Tripoli Cartel’ formed a new force called the Tripoli Protection Force (TPF) in order to coordinate their defensive campaign. The TPF comprises the five main GNA-affiliated Tripoli militias – the Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade (TRB), Abu Salim’s Central Security Brigade (Abdulghani al-Kikli aka Ghneiwa’s militia), the 301 Brigade, the Special Deterrence Forces (Rada) and the Nawasi Brigade.

On 20 September, UNSMIL called on fighters under the commands of Saleh Badi and AbdelGhani al-Kikli (aka Ghneiwa) respectively to immediately cease all violence, warning that targeting civilians violates International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and constitutes war crimes. On 23 September, UNSMIL reiterated that it is compiling a list to submit to the UN Sanctions Committee of all IHL violators.