Libya: The Gunmen’s Storm Hotel is used as the headquarters of the Presidential Council News of the conflict


Thousands of armed men from the capital, Tripoli, raided the hotel as part of a government crackdown.

Dozens of armed men rallied at a hotel used as the headquarters of Libya’s presidential council after the country’s deep divisions re-emerged.

Armed men were spotted at the entrance to Corinth Hotel, the heart of the capital, Tripoli, late Friday night, according to images obtained on social media. The local media identified them as “militias”.

Najwa Walba, a spokeswoman for the presidential council, confirmed that armed men had attacked “the headquarters where the council meets.”

“No one was harmed,” he told the Libyan Lane news agency because the council did not work on a Libyan holiday on Friday.

The implementation of the UN Security Council has led to divisions within the government, which has called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops and mercenaries.

Unified government?

On Monday, Foreign Minister Nazla al-Mangush from the East expressed outrage at Tripoli and many in the West, urging Turkey to withdraw troops deployed during the civil war.

The troops were credited in the Libyan capital for defeating the last devastating one-year offensive of former army commander Khalifa Haftar in June last year. He received support from several countries, especially Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Friday’s incident points to ongoing risks to the government. Both the Presidential Council and the National Government have faced both internal criticism and challenges to their authority.

In eastern Libya, Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) are still pushing for a 14-month offensive to seize the capital. In Tripoli, armed groups returning to the capital Haftar with the help of Turkey still control the streets.

Despite international calls to remove the warring parties from the country, foreign mercenaries remain stranded on both sides of the heavily fortified frontier.

‘Irresponsible speech’

Last week, Foreign Minister Al-Mangush stood by the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlুটt Cavusoglu and reiterated his call for all foreign fighters to leave.

Turkey has said its military presence in Libya is different from other foreign forces because it was invited by a previous UN-recognized government and will not withdraw until others do so.

An operation room of Tripoli armed groups said on social media before the storm at the hotel on Friday that it had met to discuss al-Mangush’s “irresponsible remarks” and later called on GNU to formally reject Haftar.

The October ceasefire formed a unified government led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Debiba and the Presidential Council as part of the UN roadmap for the December elections.

In March, the UN Security Council called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops and mercenaries, estimated at about 20,000.

Libya was plunged into chaos after long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011, and the conflict has been raging for years between several foreign powers.

An interim unity government was formed in March instead of a rival administration in the East and West, with the aim of leading Libya to elections.





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