This week has been dominated by rumour and speculation in regards to the arrival of Faiez Serraj and his Unity Government into Tripoli.
It was reported late on Thursday evening that four of the Unity Government Presidency council had arrived in Tripoli. This led to the head of the Tripoli Government Khalifa Ghwell announcing a ‘’state of emergency in the capital’’. In a statement issued around midnight local time, Ghwell ordered his defence and interior ministers together with the head of the intelligence and leaders of “revolutionary brigades” to take all necessary measures to protect the regime. In particular, he called on them to increase checkpoints and protect key buildings. However further reports received throughout the course of Friday and Saturday counteracted the orders made by Ghwell, as no extra checkpoints or large groupings of Militia were sighted.
Sunday morning saw Tripoli locals wake up to the rumours that PM designate Faiez Serraj and his Unity Government were again on their way to the capital, however there was still no confirmed appearance of Faiez Serraj nor his Unity Government. This time it caused an influx of checkpoints and a heavy presence of Militia in and around Mitiga airport.
Passengers arriving at Mitiga International Airport were shocked to receive information that all flights in and out of the airport had been suspended until further notice and that the Tripoli de facto administration had closed the airspace without any warning or prior notice. However a statement later on Sunday, was reported to have said that the closure was due to ‘’technical reasons’’ this was however undermined by the security and aviation sources. They said that armed militias had forced aviation personnel to leave their posts at around 4 am. Later on Sunday flights resumed at around 1730hrs. The closure was more likely due to the possibility of the Unity Government arriving at the airport.
Monday morning again saw the closure of Mitiga airport and the airspace, however the airport and airspace were reopened around 10am. This closure was due to heavy gunfire including anti-aircraft guns being fired around the airport. This was purely a show of strength to apposing militias.
On a more positive note the media consultant to Faiez Serraj wrote in a philosophical tone, ‘’ When the Security Committee completes its procedures, the GNA will enter Tripoli, the entry of a loved son of Tripoli with its hands and its heart open to its people. Working with them to turn over a page of the past to start a new page’’.
In Az Zawiyah in the west, sporadic clashes have continued between the Ahneish and Khadawi families, it was reported that eleven were killed on Friday in the clashes. Whilst other sporadic clashes within the same area had continued between Libya Dawn affiliated militia and the tribe’s army.
Whilst in Sirte Daesh have carried out further executions on people accused of being spies for the Libyan Dawn alliance. Other reports received that unidentified aircraft continued to carry out airstrikes on Daesh positons within the area of Sirte during the reporting week.
Daesh continued to shell Libyan National Army (LNA) positions near port M’reisa west of Benghazi and near to the cement factory in Al Hawary. Further clashes have continued between Ansar Al Sharia forces in Benghazi, and it was reported that some Bangladeshi workers may have been killed during the clashes.
Later in the week reports were received that an IED had exploded in the Sid Faraj area of Benghazi, one civilian was killed and three others injured in the incident.