On the one hand there is the Government of National Unity based in Tripoli and recognized by the international community; on the other, the Government of National Stability, a parallel executive based in Benghazi, managed by General Khalifa Haftar and supported by Russia.

On February 17th thirteen years ago, a huge crowd made up of family members of the prisoners of the prison massacre Abu Salim, which occurred in 1996 following widespread riots in the prison and which ended with the killing of over 1.200 inmates, destroyed the enormous statue of the Green Book in Tripoli, the “manual of the revolution” written by the colonel’s pen Muammar Gaddafi in the seventies.

That 17 February 2011 was a watershed moment in the modern history of Libya: it was the spark that triggered the revolts in many Libyan cities – such as Misrata, Zawiya, Zintan and Benghazi.

The “rat revolution”, as Gaddafi called it in a delirious speech at the end of February, continued for another eight months, supported by NATO bombings. Western intervention, prompted primarily by France, was decisive in overthrowing the colonel’s regime, captured while hiding in a concrete drain under the road of his former stronghold Sirte, just like the “rats” he promised to crush.

The death of the dictator led to the first democratic elections in Libya on 7 July 2012, which were followed by another election for the current House of Representatives way back in 2014. Since then, Libyans have no longer been able to exercise their voting rights and today the country rich in oil but poor in services is effectively divided in two.

On the one hand there is the Prime Minister’s Government of National Unity based in Tripoli Abdulhamid Dabaiba, recognized by the international community and supported above all by Türkiye; on the other, the so-called Government of National Stability led by Osama Hammad, prime minister designated by the House of Representatives, in fact a parallel executive based in Benghazi managed by General Khalifa Haftar, commander in chief of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (NLA), supported by Russia.

The fragile balance in force in the North African country is based on an implicit agreement between two powerful families – the Dabaiba and the Haftar – with a growing role of the “greens” (i.e. the former Gaddafi supporters) in the gangles of the deep state.

The Tripoli government has prepared a large demonstration for tomorrow in Martyrs’ Square, the former Green Square of the deceased Gaddafi Jamahiriyya. Other demonstrations are planned in Misurata, Zawiya and Zintan. Outgoing prime minister Dabaiba is expected to speak to the nation, taking advantage of the celebrations to rally the ranks of the militia coalition that supports him.

On the contrary, the so-called Government of National Stability (GSN, the parallel executive of the East not recognized by the international community) has announced that there will be no celebration in Benghazi, the capital of Cyrenaica dominated by the general Khalifa Haftar.

In reality, the eastern authorities have stopped celebrating February 17th for some time. “The question is whether this is an attempt by Haftar to curry favor with the Greens,” a Libyan source tells “Agenzia Nova”.

Not only. In view of the anniversary of February 17, General Haftar’s sons, Saddam and Khaled, sent men and vehicles towards the Sirte desert, in northern Libya, and the area of ​​the city of Jufra, in the center of the country. The move appears as a show of strength by the two officials, with the support of Moscow which aims to strengthen its presence in Libya, on an important date for the country’s most recent history.

A Jufra security source confirmed to “Agenzia Nova” that a series of military vehicles moved over the last day to conduct exercises in Sirte – Gaddafi’s hometown – and Jufra, explaining that the main brigades will take part of the Enl, including the security units led by his son Khaled; the Tariq bin Ziyad Brigade, led by his son Saddam; and the 128th Brigade, led by Hassan al Zadma, a man close to Saddam. Khaled and Saddam Haftar were recently promoted from brigadier general to major general.

Meanwhile, the special representative of the United Nations secretary general and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Abdoulaye Bathily, raised the alarm about the continuing division between Libya’s eastern and western institutions. “This will lead to the failure to adopt a unified budget to direct public spending, which will result in a lack of transparency and increase the fragility of the Libyan economy in the face of internal and external shocks,” Bathily told the UN Security Council. United Nations.

The UN envoy is carrying out an initiative aimed at the five main Libyan institutional subjects – the Presidential Council (tripartite body that carries out the functions of heads of state), the House of Representatives (the lower house elected in 2014 which meets in east), the High Council of State (the Upper House based in Tripoli), the Government of National Unity and the General Command of the Libyan National Army.

These five subjects should nominate three representatives who will have to sit at the same table to find a compromise on the so-called “unresolved issues”: the mandatory second round of the presidential elections; the validation of presidential elections together with parliamentary elections; the formation of a “new government” responsible for bringing the country to the vote.

“The Libyan parties are ready to resolve disputes that prevent the elections from being held, despite the completion of the legal and constitutional framework,” Bathily warned. The Senegalese politician and diplomat declared that the Libyan parties “continue to want to impose their conditions” and that “no one has deviated decisively from the initial position”, preferring to maintain a convenient status quo.

Bathily indicated in particular that the president of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, does not intend to participate in the negotiating table without the inclusion of the Government of National Stability of Benghazi or the exclusion of the Government of National Unity of Tripoli of the outgoing prime minister, Abdulhamid Dabaiba.


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