(GPA) Tripoli – Prime Minister of the rival National Salvation Government, Khalifa Ghwell has attempted another “coup” in Tripoli today. Although reports could not be independently confirmed, NSG sources state that Ghwell has seized control of the defense ministry and other “state institutions.” So what’s happening? Let’s back up a bit…
Just days prior to this General Khalifa Haftar of the Libyan National Army met with the Russian Defense Ministry on a ship off the Libyan coast near Tobruk. This raised suspicions that the general was making arrangements with Russia to collect more than just medical supplies.
Haftar’s army and the National Salvation Government consider the Government of National Accord to be imposed by the United Nations and Atlantic Powers and thus an illegitimate government.
About a week before Haftar’s meeting with Russia, deputy leader of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) Musa al-Koni announced his resignation stating that the United Nations had failed to tackle political problems properly. Koni’s resignation lead many to wonder if this was the beginning of the end for the already fragile GNA.
Ghwell’s actions can’t exactly be considered a coup per se because in order for his opposition government to seize power in a coup, that means the GNA has to hold a certain level of power. The GNA is fragile as a political entity and its level of “power” is debatable.
Most power in Libya lies within the militias. What is likely is that Ghwell’s actions today seek to further de-legitimize the GNA.
The United States placed sanctions on Ghwell in April of last year in order to thwart any attempts from the Prime Minister to “undermine or destabilize” the GNA lead by Fayez Serraj. We should pay close attention in the following days and weeks to see if any militias re-align their political loyalties.