By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 30 July 2014:
Beida is now the centre of government operations in trying to resolve the armed conflicts taking place in Benghazi . . .[restrict]and Tripoli. Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni is based there as he attempts to direct negotiations regarding Benghazi while Mustafa Abdul Jalil, appointed to mediate the Tripoli conflict, is there as well.
Al-Thinni arrived in Beida yesterday. The purpose for the visit, according to a government announcement, is to find solutions to the bloody conflict between the Operation Dignity and Saiqa Special Forces on one side and Ansar Al-Sharia and its allies on the other.
“The Prime Minister called for an urgent meeting between the different parties in order to reach an agreement for a ceasefire and re-establish peace in Benghazi,” Cabinet Secretary Ahmed Lamin told the Libya Herald.
Answering a question about whether Al-Thinni would attend the handover ceremony between the General National Congress (GNC) and the newly elected House of Representatives in Benghazi on 4 August, Lamin said that the Prime Minister planned to do so.
The government has asked former National Transitional Council Chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil to lead mediation talks in Tripoli between the Misratan-led and Zintani-led militias fighting.
In response to the request, Abdul Jalil released a statement from Beida yesterday. In it he urged both sides to immediately stop armed confrontations, deliver all weapons to the nearest army base, evacuate all armed units from the capital, yield authority to the elected House of Representatives, and comply with demands to attend reconciliation talks. He also warned that there would be consequences for refusing to “comply with the voice of reason and wisdom,” but did not specify what those would be.
However, sources close to the government say that neither the Misratans nor the Zintanis accept Abdul Jalil as mediator, and that his efforts have been largely unproductive.
For his part, Al-Thinni’s efforts to bring a solution to the Benghazi conflict have not seemed to produce any positive movement either.