Home » The Libyan government has said that the armed groups that have controlled Tripoli for more than a decade will leave

The Libyan government has said that the armed groups that have controlled Tripoli for more than a decade will leave

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The Libyan government has said that the armed groups that have controlled Tripoli for more than a decade will leave

Imad Trabelsi, the interior minister of Libya’s internationally recognized government, said the armed groups that had controlled the capital Tripoli for more than a decade had agreed to leave the city. The agreement was made after long negotiations due to a series of clashes between militias, including some that occurred last weekend and in which ten people were killed. At a press conference Trabelsi said that only ordinary police, emergency law enforcement and criminal police officers will remain in the Libyan capital.

Since 2014, Libya has been divided between two rival governments. The eastern part of the country has Osama Hammad as prime minister, but is de facto governed by Marshal Khalifa Haftar; the western one is governed by the government of Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, which is based in Tripoli and is the only one recognized as legitimate by the international community. Tripoli’s armed groups were formed thanks to the power vacuum following the major revolts against former Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi in 2011: well armed and equipped, they are not under the direct authority of the Ministries of the Interior or Defense, even if they receive public funds and operate independently thanks to a special status recognized by the Dbeibah government in 2021.

Armed groups can be seen, for example, at checkpoints on the city’s main road junctions, where they block traffic with balaclavas and weapons. On various occasions they have been involved in violent clashes, which often involved rival groups: last August 55 people were killed and 150 others injured.

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Under the agreement, members of at least five armed groups have pledged to leave Tripoli, including the Special Deterrence Force, which controls the eastern part of the city, the 444 Brigade, which controls the south, and the Authority for Stability Support, which operates in the Abu Salim neighborhood, where there were clashes over the weekend. The groups are expected to leave the city by the end of Ramadan, the holy month for Muslim people, which ends on April 9.

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