This reporting week saw the Libyan population celebrate Eid Al-Fitr, officially marking the end of Ramadan. Eid Al – Fitr was celebrated for three days and was celebrated, first by prayer at the Mosques and then by breaking the fast in the morning after finishing the fasting month of Ramadan.
The celebration involved a range of traditions, generally including the gathering of family and friends to eat and pray together, visiting relatives and friends to extend greetings.
On the political front, UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler reacted angrily to Abdullah Thinni’s claim during the week that the international community was trying to impose an unworkable political agreement and was “screwing up” the political process.
It was reported that Martin Kobler, in an email to the news agency AP, to whom Thinni gave the original interview, pointed out that the GNA led by Faiez Serraj was recognised by UN Security Council resolution 2259. This had also instructed member states to cease dealing with any parallel institutions, which includes the Thinni government.
After one hundred and three days since arriving by naval gunship at the capitals Bu Sitta naval base, the Government of National Accord President Faiez Serraj and his Presidency council took over the Prime minister building in Triq Al Sikka.
Faiez Serraj, at a press conference in his official home, stated that ‘’this was the real beginning of the Government of National Accord, were both east and west would be consolidated in the Prime Ministry.
Heavy fighting has continued in Sirte throughout the reporting week between Bunyan Marsous (BM) forces and Daesh militants. The BM Operations room has been reporting that it had launched fresh airstrikes whilst ground offensives had hit an ammunitions store in the centre of the town.
Fierce fighting also continued in the symbolically important centre of the town over the past couple of days, as BM forces close in on Daesh fighters holed up there.
BM Operations room has reported killing large numbers of Daesh militants, mainly Sudanese and Tunisians. However, unconfirmed reports came in that Daesh had launched Grad missiles at a number of locations i.e. the second and third residential areas of Sirte.
Positive reports came from Sirte in regards to power, that electricity production at the Gulf Power Station, twenty Kilometres west of Sirte, had recommenced production after a year-long break. The power station was captured in June 2016 by Daesh, and finally retaken by BM forces six weeks ago.
The capital has remained relatively quiet during the reporting week, however continued power cuts continue to take place during the day and night, some lasting in excess of twelve hours.
Whilst in Benghazi another Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) detonated, killing at least twelve soldiers and injuring another thirty-five. The VBIED detonated outside a Libyan National Army (LNA) post west of Benghazi. It was reported that the suicide attack happened around 2000hrs on the Wednesday evening, as the soldiers were praying. The dead and wounded soldiers belonged to the 210 Infantry Battalion of the LNA.
Derna Shura council was reported to have closed the courthouse and Police stations due to renewed airstrikes being carried out by General Hafter’s air force.
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