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Attempted Coup in Tripoli by GNC Condemned by EU and UN

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

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On Friday, a group of former General National Congress members backed by local militias stormed buildings used by the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) declaring a coup.

The armed group drove into the GNA headquarters in vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns, forcing local forces to flee.

The European Union and the United Nations spoke out against the attempted coup.  

“I condemn the attempt to seize the headquarters of the high council of state. Such actions … will generate further disorder and insecurity and must end for the sake of the Libyan people,” Martin Kobler, the UN’s special envoy to Libya, said in a statement on Saturday.

Khalifa Al-Ghwell, the GNC’s leader, said “The presidential council was given chances one after another to form the government, but it fails … and has become an illegal executive authority.”

The Libyan Prime Minister and leader of the UN-backed GNA, Fayez Al-Sarraj, said that order will be restored in the Libyan capital.

“Arrest all those who plotted for the coup and those who are [looking at] forming parallel governments,” Al-Sarraj said urging militias loyal to his government to take action against the GNC.

“This action by the GNC and the armed militias that backed its coup attempt helps add to the chaos in the country and leaves the door wide open for any group to assault the state institutions and buildings,” he added.

Salah Suhbi, an MP in the Libyan parliament based in Tobruk, said the situation in Tripoli is “chaotic, we now have two governments [in the capital] it is out of our hands. Tripoli is getting out of control: it is a city with 150 militias in it.”

The parliament is set to meet in Tobruk on Monday to discuss the recent events in the capital. They will continue to closely follow the events in Tripoli said Suhbi.

Foreign governments are not planning on sending their troops to secure the Libyan capital as Sarraj has previously expressed that no foreign troops will be allowed to fight on Libyan soil.

However, Britain and Italy contemplated sending 5,000 soldiers as part of a program intended to train Libyan soldiers so the GNA can form an army.

Sarraj is counting on the loyalty of Tripoli’s police force, known as Rada, and brigades from Misrata, most of which are in battle with ISIS in Sirte, to force the GNC out of the seized government buildings.

 

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