The head of the Libyan National Unity Government (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, said on Wednesday that he was ready to resign before the end of October. The reasons for this announcement are still unclear in a country in chaos.
Almost five years after being appointed head of the UN-recognized National Unity Government (GNA) based in Tripoli, Fayez al-Sarraj is throwing in the towel. The Libyan Prime Minister announced on Wednesday, September 16, in a rather short TV address, that he will be ready to leave his functions before the end of October to make room for a new CEO.
The reasons for this announcement are still unclear, although it is not surprising. “It is an expected decision that only confirms the rumor that had been circulating in Tripoli for a few days, although we must be careful, because nothing says he will resign in the end,” said Cyril Payen, an international columnist in France. 24.
According to Walid Phares, International Affairs Specialist and Adviser to the US Congress on Terrorism, “this may be a maneuver designed to put some pressure on the international community, especially on the United States, France and their countries. become more involved in the solution of the Libyan issue, he told France 24.
Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, Libya has been plunged into political chaos. Two authorities are vying for power: GNA, based in Tripoli and recognized by the UN, and a power embodied by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who rules over the east and part of the south.
Another possible explanation for Walid Phares can be linked to internal division, while a wave of demonstrations against the deteriorating living conditions in the country. “The prime minister is being fought on the streets and by competitors in his own camp, especially his interior minister, Fathi Bashagha, who is not hiding his ambitions,” he recalled.
Originally from Misrata, whose militias played a central role in the defense of Tripoli, Fathi Bashagha is often described asprotected from Ankara in Libya. At the end of August, when he returned from a visit to Turkey, he was greeted by about 300 militiamen at Tripoli airport. A display of power that is hardly appreciated by the Prime Minister.
Weakened in their own area of influence
“But that’s not all, because Fayez al-Sarraj is in a very difficult situation,” added Walid Phares. but also through growing tensions between the various militias on the one hand and between them and the jihadists that Turkey sent from Syria on the other. “
He should leave the Libyan GNA at the end of October, but who is Fayez al-Sarraj?
Walid Phares also mentions another possibility: it could be that the Prime Minister himself was put under pressure by Turkey, which has become one of the main actors in the Libyan conflict, or by the local militias, to make certain decisions or even to resign.
In his speech, Fayez al-Sarraj said that he had tried to achieve, in an “extremely polarized” political and social climate, “as much consensus as possible” between the various parties, “but the difficulties were insurmountable”. Even today, “some parties continue to pursue a military solution to serve their goals,” he lamented.
Nevertheless, a possible departure could complicate the Libyan crisis a little more, when the political solution, in contrast to the control of the country, has returned to the forefront. And this after Marshal Haftar’s offensive against Tripoli in June.
The brothers of the Libyan enemy have indeed returned to the path of dialogue and talks took place in parallel in Montreux, Switzerland, from 7 to 9 September and in Bouznika, Morocco, from 6 to 10 September. Discussions that could be disrupted by this new political turbulence.