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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud

Libya Militias Agree to End Fighting in Tripoli

Joint forces affiliated with Libya's Government of National Unity assemble inside the closed Tripoli International Airport, as they deploy on the outskirts and entrances of the capital Tripoli on July 25, 2022. (AFP)

Militias in the Libyan capital Tripoli agreed to end the latest round of fighting to avert another war in the country.

Clashes had erupted in recent weeks between militias loyal to the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity, headed by Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, and others loyal to an east-based administration, headed by former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha.

Osama al-Gweili, former head of military intelligence who is loyal to Bashagha, met on Tuesday with heads of military groups that are loyal to the GNU to ease the tensions.

They agreed to withdraw all hardline groups and postpone talk about Bashagha’s entry to Tripoli and about whether Dbeibah should remain in his post.

The groups agreed to restore calm and remove sand barriers that have been erected on main roads.

Local media reported that the rival forces indeed started to withdraw from the streets.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price expressed Washington’s concern over the recent violence.

“This is something that worries us very much,” he told a press briefing.

He urged “all groups to refrain from violence,” noting that US Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland had spoken with Dbeibah and Bashagha on Sunday.

Both officials said they were committed to “finding ways to de-escalate the situation and prevent further loss of life.”

"The recent clashes demonstrate the urgent need for Libya’s political leaders to immediately follow the agreed-upon path to holding elections that can lead to the establishment of a legitimate and united government that serves the interests of all Libyans,” he added.

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