Tripoli, Libya – On Monday the motorcade of Fayez al-Serraj, the Prime Minister of Libya’s U.N.-backed Government of National Accord(GNA) was attacked by several unidentified gunmen in what local Libyan media outlets are calling an assassination attempt on the GNA’s Prime Minister and his cabinet. Within the Prime Minister’s motorcade were the High Council of State President Abdurrahman Swehli and Presidential Guard Chief, Najmi Nakoua all of which were left unharmed with reports of only two of PM Serraj’s guards being injured.
Local sources within the Libyan media are indicating that the GNA motorcade came under heavy fire as it passed by a government complex in the Abu Salim district of Tripoli held by supporters of the former Prime Minister of Libya’s General National Congress, Khalifa al-Ghweil who directly opposes the U.N.-back Government of National Accord. Militias loyal to Serraj and Ghweil are no strangers to armed conflict with the capital city of Tripoli as SOFREP reported on heavy fighting within the city in late 2016 where street fighting erupted for several days following a declaration of “all out war” on the GNA by Misrata militias loyal to Ghweil. Ashraf al-Tulty, a GNA spokesman in a statement to local Libyan media stated that: “No one was injured in the machine gun attack. The cars they were travelling in are armour-plated. Everything is under control. The convoy came under fire as it passed near Abu Salim sector of Tripoli.” Mr. al-Tulty also went on to ensure that a full investigation is underway and the culprits will be found and brought to justice.
The United Nations-backed Government of National Accord was created in December 2015 out of the highly contested General National Congress due to several factions voicing concerns over little representation of minority Islamist parties within Libya. The intent of the GNA was to establish an interim governing body within Libya that recognized and shared collective power with rival Islamist-led factions also seeking governmental representation. The United Nations proctored the transition with little success as no one group could agree to the various terms presented and thus was resisted by most if not all of the rival factions. Citizens in the capital city await what could come from this brazen attack as it may spark yet another round of bloody street fights between loyal militia factions within Tripoli itself and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Feature Image courtesy: Al-Jazeera