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Libya Dawn / fajr Libya

Tripoli is controlled by a political faction, which is calling itself Libya Dawn and is allied with powerful armed forces based in the city of Misrata. The faction has reinstated the old parliament, known as the General National Congress in the capital. The General National Congress [GNC] is a former elected assembly that was reinstalled by Libya Dawn. The General National Congress was the parliament that refused to disband to make way for the House of Representatives, which is the legislature elected to replace it. Libya Dawn's 2014 capture of Tripoli has left the internationally recognized government to operate out of Tobruk, in the east of the country. Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia and some armed groups based in Misrata seized Tripoli and most government institutions in August 2014 and set up their own self-declared government and parliament.

Among the groups in Libya Dawn are Libya Shield Forces which bring together a variety of revolutionary armed groups who see themselves as guardians of the revolution. Libya Shield Forces are divided into three main brigades named after their geographical locations: the eastern, central, and western Libya Shields. The western and Misrata-based central Libya Shield forces remained dominant in the Libya Dawn coalition in 2014. They incorporate into their fold, for example, forces from Zleiten, Al-Khoms, Misillata, Tarhouna, Jadu, the Nafusa Mountains (Gheryan, Kikla, Jadu and Nalut) and Al-Zawiya. Armed groups affiliated with Libya Dawn also include the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade, Deterrence and Assistance Force, the High Security Committee (Abu Salim Branch), and the Janzour Knights Brigade.

Tripoli witnessed six consecutive weeks of heavy fighting from mid-July 2014, when an alliance of armed groups, primarily from Misrata, but also from other towns, including Al-Zawiya and Gheryan, and Tripoli-based armed groups launched Operation Libya Dawn (fajr Libya) against the Zintan-affiliated Al-Qaqa and Al-Sawaiq armed groups allied with fighters from the Warshafana region, west of Tripoli. The fighting was particularly intense around Tripoli International Airport, but affected other large areas of Tripoli.

On 24 August 2014, Libya Dawn fighters seized control of the airport and other areas of Tripoli from Zintan-affiliated armed groups, which withdrew from the city. Libya Dawn operations were extended to the Warshafana region until Libya Dawn gained control over the region. Fighting then broke out in the Nafusa Mountains when Zintan-affiliated armed groups attacked the towns of Kikla and Al-Qalaa. At the time of writing, intermittent fighting was ongoing in the Nafusa Mountains and air strikes against Mitiga Airport and other areas in the west of the country had been carried out by the air force aligned with General Haftar.

Following Libya Dawns takeover of Tripoli at the end of August 2014, the Government, led by incumbent Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, left Tripoli and moved to the town of Al-Baida. The House of Representatives subsequently confirmed Mr. Al-Thinni as Prime Minister. In Tripoli, the General National Congress reconvened and established its own government, led by Omar al-Hasi, which gradually took control of Tripoli-based ministries and other State institutions. On 6 November, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a provision of the March 2014 constitutional amendment which had paved the way for elections to create the House of Representatives.

Hundreds of armed groups, comprising more than 200,000 fighters, continued to be paid from central State funds. Some are nominally affiliated with either the Ministry of Defence or the Ministry of the Interior. Those groups exercise effective control in localized areas and over detention centers, where thousands of persons associated with the former regime, among others, continue to be detained outside of the effective oversight of the authorities.

Libyan authorities on 07 January 2019 said they seized a shipment of Turkish arms into Libya through the countrys port of Misrata. An official from the Misrata port customs said it had managed to seize a shipment of weapons containing Turkish pistols inside a container with some household items and childrens toys used as camouflage, in a move that marks a violation of the UN resolution banning the sale and transfer of arms to Libya. The shipment contained 556 cartons, each containing 36 pistols, which is equivalent to about 20,000 pistols, officials noted, failing to give information on the sender or recipients.

The Libyan army accuses Ankara of supporting terrorists and armed militias in order to fuel chaos the country. The incident marked the second seizure of Turkish weapons in less than a month. The discovery in December 2018 of 3,000 Turkish-made guns and more than four million bullets hidden in shipping containers arriving in the Libyan port of Khoms revealed a new element to Turkeys neo-Ottoman effort to again become a major player in the Middle East.

From the nature of the contraband weapons, it is fairly obvious they were not intended for a regular army, but rather for terrorist activities of armed groups, most probably Islamic organizations linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. According to a UN report, a dozen countries, Turkey among them, are supplying weapons to both sides in violation of the embargo. During a press conference with the Moroccan foreign minister, his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry clearly said that Turkey, along with Qatar, is contributing to creating a Libyan civil war and reinforcing terrorists there, meaning through money, weapons and the media.

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Page last modified: 16-01-2019 13:14:24 ZULU