Tension around Misrata Joint Force continues as rivals take over airport

Jan 12, 2024 | Libyan actors

On the night of 12-13 January, unarmed protesters from the (Misrata) February 17 Movement led by Othman al-Taher Issa occupied Misrata Airport during the night and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Misrata Joint Force. Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dabaiba was also asked to fulfill all other demands of the movement. Subsequently, the Misrata Joint Force withdrew all its forces from Misrata Airport.

Abdul Hamid Issa Khadr, one of the leaders of the February 17 Movement and one of the most influential men in the city, has warned PM Dabaiba that if even one drop of blood flows, that will be the end of him. Representatives of the Elder & Notables and the youth of al-Ghiran, a district of Misrata, have demanded the withdrawal of all militias. They said they only accept the official authorities.

On 13 January, the most important militia leaders of Misrata discussed the situation with the Misrata Joint Force. It was agreed that the Misrata Joint Force should be prevented from returning to Misrata Airport. They are also to be expelled from the port, by force if necessary.