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Interior Minister Mazen sacked after Tripoli militia clashes – tense ceasefire achieved

After widespread and serious militia clashes in Tripoli overnight Friday, which went on until Friday afternoon, caretaker Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba yesterday sacked his Interior Minister Khaled Mazen. Bader Aldeen Al-Tumi, the Minister for Local Government has been appointed as Acting Interior Minister.

An unofficial and tense ceasefire achieved
Meanwhile, after continuing sporadic fighting between the militias into Friday afternoon, a ceasefire was eventually achieved yesterday after the Abdelrauf Kara-led Special Deterrence Force (SDF/Rada) agreed to cease fighting. This came after reports that a senior Rada commander that had been abducted by a Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade (TRB) affiliated militia had been released.

Rada was deemed to be the territorial winner in these clashes. The net losers, the TRB, have not publicly accepted the ceasefire. Indeed, there are reports that they are mobilising for a counterattack to regain their territory and various security points Rada had forced them out from. Hence the ceasefire could be short lived.

Senior level security meetings
On Friday, the three-man Presidential Council, in its capacity as the Supreme Commander of the Army, instructed Chief of General Staff, Mohamed Al-Haddad, to end the clashes between the fighting units in Tripoli. Militias are to return to their former headquarters immediately. Haddad was also instructed to work to secure the security and safety of citizens, their property and public property and to control the situation.

Later in the day, the President of the Presidential Council, Mohamed Al-Menfi, his Deputy, Abdalla Al-Lafi, and the Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba, in his role as Minister of Defence, held an emergency meeting with the Chief of General Staff, the Military Prosecutor, the Acting Minister of Interior, and representatives of the Military Intelligence, General Intelligence and the Internal Security Service to discuss security and military developments Tripoli.

Ceasefire supervision and damage compensation assessment
The Aldabaiba government announced that it was decided at the meeting to assign the Chief of General Staff and the Acting Minister of Interior to supervise and follow up on the ceasefire and assigned the Military Prosecutor to investigate the militia clashes and to take the necessary legal measures.

The Prime Minister also instructed the Acting Minister of Interior to assess the damage to public and private properties and estimate the value of the damage to compensate those affected.

Mitiga reopened, university exams cancelled
Mitiga airport announced that it had resumed flights late Friday after suspending them in the morning. However, Tripoli university announced Friday that it had cancelled all today’s planned exams and lectures.

UNSMIL, meanwhile, said it was deeply concerned about reports of civilian casualties as a result of Friday night’s Tripoli militia clashes.

It called for an investigation into the incident and justice for the victims and their families. Any action that endangers the lives of civilians is unacceptable, it said.

It further called on all Libyans to do everything possible to preserve the country’s fragile stability at this sensitive time.

All actors must exercise maximum restraint, address their disputes through dialogue and abide by their obligations under national and international law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, it concluded in its statement yesterday.

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