Over the weekend, a senior member of Prime Minister-elect Mustafa Abu Shagur’s staff stated that the final candidates for the proposed new government would be submitted to the National Congress by 1 October. This deadline passed without final submission, the second time Abu Shagur has failed to meet a self-imposed deadline to form a new government. On 19 September, Abu Shagur announced that he would finalise his proposed government for submission by the end of September, which failed to materialise. Abu Shagur subsequently requested an extension and was given until 8 October by the National Congress, or face being dismissed from his post.
The delay was attributed to a split within the National Forces Alliance (NFA) over whether or not to back Abu Shagur proposed new government. Abu Shagur and NFA leader, Mahmoud Jibril are known to be in strong disagreement on vital issues including the reintegration of former regime loyalists and the disbanding of militias, with Jibril favouring a more relaxed approach to both. The Libya Herald subsequently reported on 2 October that Jibril had now agreed to support Abu Shagur’s new government, which should now clear the way for Abu Shagur to announce the new government by the 8 October.
Tripolitania and Tripoli
Reuter’s news agency reported that the death of Omran Shaaban on 24 September has increased tensions between Misratah and Beni Walid. Shaaban had gained notoriety for his role in finding Moammar Al-Qadhafi in Sirte in October 2011. Shaaban was kidnapped by armed men in July this year and held for 50 days in the town of Bani Walid, a former Qadhafi stronghold. Shaaban was reported to have been tortured during his captivity, before being freed following the intervention of the General National Congress (GNC) speaker Mohamed Magarief. Shaaban subsequently died in France, where he had been receiving treatment for the injuries he received in captivity. Thousands of mourners were reported to have attended Shaaban’s funeral prayers at a Misratah football stadium on 25 September.
The Libya Herald reported that the National Congress has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion authorising the arrest of those suspected of the abduction of Shaaban, following an ultimatum to Bani Walid to hand over those involved. The deadline for the ultimatum expires on 5 October. Conflicting reports emerged on 1 October as to whether or not the military has been mobilised in preparation for a possible assault against Bani Walid. Unconfirmed reports also claimed that clashes had taken place between Libya Shield forces and suspected Qadhafi loyalists at a checkpoint located near to the town.