Libya: Tripoli Unrecognized Administration Steps Aside, GNA Gains Currency
Tripoli-based and Islamist-backed government announced Tuesday it was ceding power “in the high national interest” in a move to avoid bloodshed, leaving Serraj-led unity government to fully expand its control in the Libyan capital.
“We inform you that we are ceasing the activities entrusted to us as an executive power,” said a statement by the Tripoli government.
The statement bearing the logo of the unrecognized government further indicated that the decision was made “in light of the political developments in Tripoli” and to prevent further divisions and bloodshed.
The authors of the statement who have not been mentioned also pointed out they were “no longer responsible… for what could happen in the future.”
The move came one week after the UN-backed Libyan Presidency Council led by Prime Minister-designate Faiez Serraj boldly entered Tripoli with his close collaborators after being denied landing several times by Tripoli authorities who have been opposed to the Government of National Accord (GNA.)
To embolden Serraj’s authority, UNSMIL Head Martin Kobler also travelled to Tripoli on Tuesday in a bid to support the GNA. Speaking to reporters in the Libyan capital, Kobler praised the courage and the determination of the GNA and its chair, Faiez Serraj.
He also pledged the full support of the UN to the unity government in its efforts to assert itself.
In a separate and significant shift of power, some members of Tripoli-based government affiliate parliament known as the General National Congress (GNC) announced the dissolution of the parliament which now becomes State Council as proposed in the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed in Morocco, in December.
The announcement was made by former GNC Deputy President, Saleh Makhzoum who led the group of splitters estimated at 94 by the organizers of the press conference which took place in the Mahary Radisson Blu Hotel. The GNC President and his aides did not take part in the event which also saw the GNC logo ripped off and replaced by that of State Council.
The group also explained that it supports the LPA and endorses the GNA.
Serraj’s government is still officially unborn as the House of Representatives (HoR,) the country’s sole recognized parliament, has not yet endorsed it. The HoR on Sunday warned GNA that it remains the only Libyan legal authority.
The HoR has failed five times to back the GNA and even it rejected in January the first cabinet line-up proposed by Serraj on the grounds that it was too large.
The UN has been standing by the side of the GNA that it deems the sole Libyan authority that could restore the country’s integrity, unity, address insecurity and the grave humanitarian crisis which has displaced more than 2.4 million Libyans.
Libya since 2011, following the death of Col. Gaddafi has become a cesspit fertile for power struggle between rival camps leaving a power vacuum filled by IS which has managed to expand before the nose of the opposed factions.