By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 11 November 2014:
Pro-Libya Dawn supporters were in Tripoli’s Martyrs Square this afternoon celebrating what they believed was . . .[restrict]the international community’s decision to reject the House of Representatives and the Thinni government and recognise Omar Al-Hassi as prime minister instead. The celebrations followed today’s brief visit to Tripoli by UN Special Representative Bernardino Leon who had discussions with former Congress president Nuri Abu Sahmain.
Since last week’s ruling by the Supreme Court effectively invalidating the elections to the House of Representatives, the city has been full of rumours that various European countries, notably Germany, were about to switch recognition to the Hassi team. Leon’s visit today appears to have convinced the Libya Dawn supporters that this has happened although it was noticeable in its statement about today’s meeting that UNSMIL gave no indication of any switch.
The statement did not refer to Abu Sahmain either as the present or former president of the General National Congress. He was referred to simply by name. As for Hassi, Leon continued to refuse to meet him.
The UN takes that view that even if the Supreme Court judgment stood and HoR were invalid, the Hassi “government” is also invalid because Congress’ own rules were broken when it appointed it – because there was no quorum at the meeting. However, for the moment, it is said to b still evaluating the Supreme Court’s ruling.
For its part the German embassy has put out a statement in its Facebook page saying that the rumour that it was about to issue an invitation to Hassi’s ministers was untrue.
Meanwhile elsewhere in the capital, the situation appear outwardly calm although there is growing tension in certain areas ahead of next Saturday’s first anniversary of the Garghour massacre: political activists have called on people to take to the streets that day to protests against Libya Dawn.
In what is seen as a bid to prevent that happening, a number of pro-HoR protestors have allegedly been seized by Libya Dawn forces – notably in Fashloum, Zawiat Al-Dahmani, Ghut Shaal and Kashlaf, all areas known to be opposed to Libya Dawn.
Yesterday, several men were reported arrested in Ghut Shaal and Kashlaf in what is said to have been a joint operation by Abdulrauf Kara’s Rada force and militiamen belonging to Abdul Ghani Kikli aka Ghnaiwa, both part of Libya Dawn.
On Saturday following protests at the Surpeme Court ruling, Rada forces, which are led by Abdulraouf Kara, entered Fashoum and arrested three people and are said to have killed another in the operation.
They claimed that those seized were drug dealers. They also claimed that they themselves were attacked when they were trying to carry out the arrests. A fifth person was afterwards arrested in front of the Mahari market in Zawiat Al-Dahmani. However, a neighbour of one of the Fashloum three went on TV to deny the drug-dealer allegations, claiming they were arrested because they supported Operation Dignity in Benghazi.
The incident resulted in large protests in Fashloum and Zawiat Al-Dahmani, with roads closed off with burning tyres and other barricades. There were also unconfirmed reports that in Fashloum, a Rada vehicle was burned.
The next morning the three Fashloum men were released (although not the man from Zawiat Al-Dahmani), but the protests continued, spreading to Dahra where there was demonstrations outside the market, and to the Ben Ashour area.
Yesterday, Kara made his own protest on social media, claiming he was arresting criminals and that no one should protest against it.
Late last night, following the arrests in Ghut Shaal, his Rada forces again reportedly tried to enter Fashloum but were reportedly forced out by local residents. Other reports, however, say that a number of people were seized.
Condemning what it described as wide and numerous violations of human rights in Tripoli committed by “armed militias in control of the capital”, the National Council for Human Rights in Libya (NCHRL) today said that five young men in Fashloum and Zawiat Al-Dahmani were seized in the Rada operation.
For his part, the boycotting HoR member for Abu Sleem, Abdul-Raouf Al-Manaie, has claimed that while he was driving through Fashloum yesterday gunmen stopped him and tried to kill him.
Neither of the claims has been verified.
Fashoum and Zawiat Al Dahmani are now quiet, but the former is still blockaded, [/restrict]