A cautious calm prevails in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, after hours of clashes with heavy and medium weapons in central and suburban areas, killing 23 people, including 18 civilians.
The Libyan Ministry of Health announced the killing of 23 people, including 18 civilians, and the injury of 140, as a result of the clashes that erupted between the forces of the Government of National Unity and forces affiliated with the Prime Minister-designate from the House of Representatives, Fathi Bashagha.
Sources told Al Jazeera that the Stability Support Forces supporting the Government of National Unity control all the headquarters of the forces of “Haitham al-Tajouri” supporting Bashagha, and that the forces of the Government of National Unity bombard with heavy weapons the headquarters of the forces of “Osama al-Juwaili” also supporting Bashagha.
The center of the capital witnessed armed confrontations between the Stabilization Support Forces and the 777th Brigade, led by Haitham Al-Tajouri, against the backdrop of the Stabilization Support Service’s control of the headquarters of the 92nd Battalion affiliated with Al-Tajouri.
For his part, the Prime Minister of the National Unity Government in Libya, Abdel Hamid Al-Dabaiba, said that what he called the “aggression against Tripoli” is planned from inside and outside.
Dabaiba added – in a video he posted on his Facebook account during an inspection tour of a Tripoli street – that whoever wants to rule Libya with arms and fire is “dreaming.”
In the same context, on Saturday evening, Dabaiba visited the operations room that was formed to defend Tripoli, and issued a decision to take immediate measures to arrest all participants in what he described as “aggression.”
The resolution stipulated that no one would be exempted from this, whether civilian or military.
A statement by what is known as the Stabilization Support Organization in Libya said that it carried out an operation aimed at dealing with what it described as the security threat to the capital, Tripoli, at the hands of Haitham al-Tajouri, in order to spare it from entering into a conflict that may be prolonged and have dire effects, according to the text of the statement.
The agency stressed that it stands as an impenetrable dam, and a severe deterrent, against anyone who begs himself to harass the security and safety of citizens, especially in the capital, Tripoli.
The agency stressed that all its operations aim – in the first place – to defend the security of citizens and the stability of the capital and all parts of Libya, in the short and long term, according to what was stated in the statement.
The Libyan Red Crescent in Tripoli had called for a ceasefire to provide safe corridors for volunteers to help them work according to their humanitarian principles, and called on all parties to help the humanitarian teams perform their tasks inside Tripoli.
The Libyan Red Crescent said it was working to find safe corridors for families to leave the areas of clashes.
He added that his teams managed to get a number of people out of the conflict areas in Tripoli.
For his part, the spokesman for the Libyan House of Representatives in Tobruk, Abdullah Blihaq, said that the Speaker of the House, Aguila Saleh, discussed with a number of members of the State Council ways to reach a Libyan-Libyan consensus, end the current stage and achieve stability.
The spokesman added that Aqila Saleh met a number of members of the State Council and discussed with them the convergence of views between the House of Representatives and the State Council.
In the same context, the Libyan Presidential Council announced that its president, Muhammad al-Manfi, cut short his visit to Tunisia and returned to the capital, Tripoli.
The national unity government denounced what it described as treachery, after it was engaged in negotiations to spare the capital bloodshed, with a self-initiative that obligated all parties to go to elections at the end of the year as a solution to the political crisis, according to the statement.
The unity government added that the party representing the Prime Minister-designate from the House of Representatives, Fathi Bashagha, fled at the last moment after there were positive signs towards a peaceful solution.
The Libyan government assigned by the House of Representatives has denied what was stated in the statement of the National Unity Government regarding the rejection of any negotiations with it.
The media office of the designated government said that Prime Minister Bashagha welcomed all local and international initiatives to resolve the crisis of a peaceful transfer of power.
The statement accused the national unity government of being a usurper of legitimacy and rejecting all initiatives.
The statement of the Bashagha government also appreciated the efforts of local parties and friendly countries interested in the Libyan issue.
Reacting to the clashes in the Libyan capital, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) expressed its deep concern, calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
It also reminded all parties of their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian facilities.
She stressed the need for all parties to refrain from using any form of hate speech and incitement to violence.
In turn, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric, said Guterres urges the Libyan parties to engage in genuine dialogue to address the ongoing political impasse and not to use force to resolve their differences.
He added that the United Nations is ready to offer good offices and mediation to help the Libyan parties chart a way out of the political impasse.
For his part, the US ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, called for the opening of safe corridors to remove civilians from the areas of clashes, And he said The United States condemns the escalation of violence in Tripoli.
Norland called – in a statement published by the US embassy in Libya – for an immediate ceasefire in Tripoli and for talks facilitated by the United Nations between the conflicting parties.
He also called on what he described as the main external parties to use their influence to stop the fighting.
In Qatar, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on all Libyan parties to settle differences through dialogue.
In a statement, the Qatari Foreign Ministry stressed the need for the Libyan parties to work to ensure the protection of civilians, considering this a top priority.
The Qatari Foreign Ministry also renewed the State of Qatar’s position in support of the political solution path in Libya and the relevant Security Council resolutions, and all peaceful solutions that preserve Libya’s unity, stability and sovereignty, and achieve the aspirations of its people for development and prosperity.