By Sami Zaptia.
London, 28 August 2018:
A temporary ceasefire was agreed last night in the fighting between the two sets of militias in the southern suburbs of Tripoli. The ceasefire seemed to be holding this morning and was set to be extended until sunset today as negotiations coordinated by tribal and reconciliation elders continued.
The ceasefire was called for by a number of states yesterday, including the United Nations Libya Mission, UNSMIL, after a coalition of Tripoli brigades and a Tarhuna-based brigade clashed in a number of south Tripoli neighbourhoods.
Sources say that the basis for negotiations is a return to the status quo, with both sets of militias returning to their previous zones and barracks. The plan is to hand-over the disputed checkpoints the Tripoli Security Directorate – an official state body aligned to the Faiez Serraj Presidency Council and Government of National Accord (PC/GNA) – rather than to either set of militias.
This would mean that the Tarhuna-based 7th Infantry Brigade, more popularly known as the Kani/Kaniat Brigade owing to the fact that it is led by the Kani brothers from Tarhuna, would have to give up its territorial gains of yesterday. They had crept up to the Passports Authority and Yarmook barracks on the Salah al-Deen – Khalat al-Furjan road.
Meanwhile, PC/GNA head Faiez Serraj was reported to have hastily returned from a family holiday in England to coordinate matters amidst a flurry of PC/GNA security meetings in Tripoli.
The PC/GNA issued a statement denouncing the militia fighting yesterday between what it described as ”outlawed gangs”. It said that that the clashes caused panic to the safe citizens of the area and warned these attacking outlaw gangs that there is no room for chaos and carelessness, revealing that it was giving orders to military region of Tripoli and its Interior Ministry to confront the attacks.
It added that all those involved in the clashes, which it described as “treacherous” to the capital, will be outlawed and will be pursued by the hand of justice and state sanctions according to Security Council resolutions.
It concluded in its statement by saying that “this attack is a threat to the security and safety of citizens, and it is aimed at aborting the efforts made locally and internationally to stabilize the country”.