Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Fathi Bashagha ... the strong militia, aspiring to be prime minister of Libya

Ramsa -
After he secured his name at the Libyan Political Forum held in Tunis, with the participation of a number of his supporters, the "strong" Minister of the Interior of the Government of National Accord began international contacts in an effort to obtain the premiership of Libya.

Bashagha, who is backed by the militia of Misrata, his city, is seeking to present himself as the leader of a new, democratic, pluralistic Libya and hopes to become Libya's next prime minister, according to the Guardian newspaper.

Bashagha began his tours to obtain international support by visiting France, where he met in Paris with the ministers of foreign affairs, interior and defense, and signed memoranda of understanding on closer French security cooperation, and the French oil company Total held discussions with the Libyan National Oil Corporation about expanding its activities.

But Bashagha is rejected by the eastern Libyan forces led by Khalifa Haftar and the Emirates, as he is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey, and Bashagha is seeking French support to increase his chances in next year's elections.

The 75 delegates at the UN-sponsored Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, which was organized in Tunisia last week, agreed to hold elections on December 24, 2021, the seventieth anniversary of the founding of Libya, but were unable to agree on the formation of the new government.

Libya has been witnessing chaos and violence since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011. The United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord and headquartered in Tripoli is competing for power, and a parallel government in the east backed by the Libyan Parliament headed by Aqila Saleh and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

These discussions follow the ceasefire that was formalized in October, after the cessation of hostilities in June between the Government of National Accord and the forces loyal to Haftar.

France stressed that the meetings came within the framework of "the framework of regular contact by France with all Libyan parties," but these meetings sparked controversy in Libya, and some Libyans in the Government of National Accord described it as "treason."

"The language of peace prevails over the language of war," said Stephanie Williams, the United Nations special envoy to Libya, in her most optimistic speech yet before the United Nations Security Council.

The United Nations hopes that Libya has finally crossed the political corner, as it ended years of intermittent fighting, by agreeing on October 23 to an immediate nationwide ceasefire, which helped increase Libyan oil production again to 1.2 million barrels per day, which is The highest level for more than a year, and the ceasefire agreement requires all foreign forces and mercenaries to leave Libya within three months, which Turkey and the UAE may resist.

It is noteworthy that recent months have witnessed an increase in the pace of disagreement between the head of the Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj and Bashagha, and researchers believe that there is a great power struggle between Al-Sarraj and Bashagha, especially since Bashagha returned to the position days after his return from Turkey, the biggest supporter of the Government of National Accord.

Bashagha had returned to a position in the Ministry of the Interior hours after Al-Sarrah’s decision to dismiss him and refer him for investigation in connection with the protests and clashes that took place between demonstrators and security forces in Tripoli, after the Misurata militias loyal to him surrounded the headquarters of the Tripoli government during his interrogation in Mashhad, which some described as “ Show strength, ”an obvious challenge to Os.

Analysts also confirmed that the dispute between the two began to appear in July, when Bashagha began to criticize Al-Sarraj, and his attempt to portray himself as a major player in the recent military victories that the Western camp had achieved against Haftar's forces.

Bashagha is considered one of the most powerful figures in western Libya, due to his alliance with the Misrata militias, from which he also hails, and these militias are the strongest in terms of equipment and equipment, and at the forefront of which comes the Al-Samoud Brigade, the Halbus Brigade and the Twenty Brigade, which exceeds the total of one, i.e. a battalion Tripoli not united.

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