4-10 October:  Protests Disrupt HoR Session Days Before Tunis Talks Due To Restart

Oct 11, 2017 | Libyan actors

On 6 October, the Anti-ISIS Operations Room (AIOR), a force technically under the authority of the Government of National Accord (GNA) but more closely aligned the Libyan National Army (LNA), announced its control of Sabratha after defeating the Anas Dabbashi Brigade following three weeks of intense fighting among militia groups that ultimately left 39 people dead and 300 others wounded. GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj welcomed the take-over and in a similar tone, the Anti-ISIS Operations Room declared its loyalty to the GNA. The situation is further complicated as the defeated Dabbashi militia, and its allies the 48 Brigade, are also affiliated to the GNA.

The GNA sent separate forces to Sabratha as well, under the control of Western Region Commander General Usama Juwili, in an effort to broker ceasefires and new security arrangements with the units affiliated with the LNA.

LNA affiliated units also took over the nearby towns of Ajilat and al-Jmil, and conducted air sorties from its base in Watiya over Mellitah and near Zuwara. It is reported that after warning militias from Zuwara on 9 October, LNA allied forces are set to ‘takeover’ the Libyan -Tunisian border town of Ras Ejdir in the near future. The LNA General Command has since issued an order to cease all social media communications, disclaiming any reports in its name and preventing official confirmation of these plans.

House of Representatives (HoR) members were due to attend a session at the body’s headquarters in Tobruk on 9 October, to discuss the proposed amendments to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) presented in the Joint Drafting Committee talks in Tunis in late September. Even several Tripoli-based HoR members who back the GNA, and thus have not attended HoR sessions for some time due to its largely anti-GNA position, flew in for the meeting. Such plans were temporarily blocked as protestors prohibited entrance into the building, forcing the meeting to be delayed. The discussion has been postponed to 10 October and the HoR and High Council of State (HCS) delegations will subsequently return to Tunis on 14 October to begin a second round of negotiations.