How did the recent controversy play out?
The peace process has resulted in a new government of national unity under Prime Minister Abdulhamid Al-Dubeiba, with powers to oversee national elections scheduled for December 2021, but no agreement on voting rules. Instead, the process collapsed.
In eastern Libya, parliament has declared Dbeibah’s government illegal and appointed a new government under Fatih Bashagah, who has rejected the move and said he would cede power only after elections.
Meanwhile, Western Libyan factions united against Haftar occasionally skirmished over positions in Tripoli, with some seeing Bashaga as the best bet for progress.
Bashagha tried to enter Tripoli shortly after being appointed in March, but pro-Dbeibah factions blocked his convoy. He tried again in May, but left Tripoli after a brief shootout.
As the months went on, alliances and coalitions between the Tripoli factions changed, with both Dbeibah and Bashagha trying to gain major players. In the streets of Tripoli, armies rubbed each other’s territories.
When fighting broke out between the two groups on Friday night, factions aligned with the Bashaga launched what appeared to be a coordinated offensive in a renewed attempt to install the Bashaga in the capital. However, the move fell through and Dbeibah appears to have taken a stronger position.