GNU Joint Force attempts to seize Ras Ajdir

Nov 15, 2023 | Libyan actors

On 15 November, Government of National Unity (GNU) Joint Force Commander Abdussalam al-Zoubi deployed troops in the direction of Ras Ajdir in order to ‘protect the western border and take action against criminals’. The convoy mainly comprised troops from al-Zoubi’s 111th Brigade, Mahmoud Bin Rajab’s 52nd Infantry Brigade and the 444 Brigade, as well as the Ministry of Interior and Border Guard forces. At night, troop approaches to Zuwara were blocked by the population and local militias. In the morning, parts of the Joint Force advanced to Ras Ajdir, but without attempting to take over the border crossing. There were no armed clashes.

During the night of 17-18 November, the Joint Force withdrew from the Ras Ajdir area. Most of the troops remained in Zaltan. As of 21 November, the Ras Ajdir border crossing is once again completely in the hands of the Border Guard, mostly local Amazigh, and Amazigh militias.

On 18 November, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief, Presidential Council (PC) head Muhammed al-Menfi banned troop movements west of Tripoli to the border with Tunisia without his prior authorization. The General Staff of the Libyan Army and the Military Intelligence Department have been instructed to report any violation of this directive and to take legal action against the commanders concerned.

On 19 November, Amazigh militias from Nalut arrived to reinforce the local troops in Ras Ajdir and Zuwara. The same day, the PC asked the Joint Force to continue its activities to defend the Western and Southwestern Region. It said, the Joint Force units in Ghariyan, Mizdah, Nasmah, al-Qaryat (120 km south of Mizdah) must continue to perform their duties until another decision is made by the Defense & Security Council.