The government of Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha withdrew from Tripoli after an attempt to assume power in the capital resulted in armed clashes on Tuesday morning, the premier said.
During a press conference in Sirte, Bashagha said that a civilian young man died after armed forces loyal to his rival, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, attacked a group of his government members who entered the capital in “civilian cars”.
“We entered the capital using civilian cars,” Bashagha told reporters in Sirte. “Our entrance to the capital was peaceful until forces from the other side initiated fire”.
“Our government will start working from Sirte tomorrow, and we will not enter Tripoli again without guaranteeing that no single drop of blood is shed,” he said.
Bashagha thanked Osama Al-Juwaili, Dbeibeh’s former military intelligence chief, for his “patriotic role”. The premier did not disclose the nature of Al-Juwaili’s actions with regard to attempt of entrance to Tripoli.
Al-Juwaili was fired by Dbeibeh just hours after the clashes erupted.
The premier condemned armed groups in Tripoli, which sided with Dbeibeh’s government, which he described as a “government of nepotism”.
Bashagha also criticized Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, a Swiss think tank, for allegedly inviting Abdel Ghani al-Kikli, the commander of the pro-Dbeibeh Stability Support Authority, to an event in Montreux event a few days ago. He claimed that Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue invited Al-Kikli despite a the publication recent of report by Amnesty International on May 4. The report referred to the Stability Support Authority as a “militia” and detailed crimes and abuses committed by Al-Kikli.