3 – 9 May: Tensions Rise in Tripoli Over Haftar Reconciliation

May 9, 2017 | Libyan actors

On 9 May, there were reports of clashes in Tripoli as militias loyal to Misratan Commander Saleh Badi mobilized on Airport road, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) affiliated Nawasi brigade deployed tanks near the GNA headquarters in Abu Sitta. Nawasi militia men reportedly stormed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, calling for PM Fayez al-Serraj to dismiss Mohamed Taher Siala as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This is apparently in response to remarks by Siala on 8 May during a ministerial meeting between Libya and its neighbouring countries in Algeria, where he referred to Haftar as the legitimate commander of the Libyan Armed Forces.

Tensions between moderate and hardliner groups in Misrata over the Haftar-Serraj meeting last week reached a climax on 4 May when hardliners stormed the local municipality offices, forcing the local mayor Mohamed Shtwei to sign a letter of resignation. However, later the same day Shtewi retracted his resignation, saying it was issued under duress. He reaffirmed he would stay on in his position. Anti-GNA militias affiliated with fellow Misratan and former Prime Minister Khalifa al-Ghwell’s Libyan National Guard force previously attacked the municipal council buildings after they were driven out of Tripoli in March.