Cairo- Even though an armistice has been in effect among militias overrunning Libyan capital, Tripoli, fears of renewed clashes have been escalating after a brigade dubbed “Tripoli’s Rebels Battalion” announced the assassination of one of its members.
Commander Tarek Durman, serving under the internationally backed Government of National Accord (GNA,) also announced that his battalion’s HQ has been put under the attack of several militias.
For his part, GNA Prime Minister Fayes Sarraj had issued a statement ordering the protection of civilians and public property. Sarraj elaborated on the sizable presence of loose guns on the streets is a result to the vicious conflict the country has been drowning in.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrlaut, in a phone call, to Libyan PM Sarraj called on limiting violence and promoting peace for Libya’s stability.
On the other hand, United States Secretary of State John Kerry said that a foreign military intervention in Libya is not a current option, and that only a diplomacy-fangled solution can settle the Libya crisis.
“Our tools are diplomacy. We are not looking at other options,” Kerry told journalists alongside his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni following a summit in Rome on the future of countries in the Mediterranean region.
“I don’t think any country is prepared to engage in military action.”
Kerry said that diplomatic efforts had made progress, disagreeing with Gentiloni who said that negotiations “have not yet produced results”.
“There has been a significant shift in the last month of efforts diplomatically to bring general (Khalifa) Haftar to the table…and create a series of meetings to try to resolve some differences,” said Kerry, referring to the military strongman who has refused to support a U.N.-backed unity government.
This is considered the first time for U.S. Secretary Kerry to have referred to Gen. Haftar by his military post. He instead supports a parallel authority, based in eastern Libya near the border with Egypt, that controls much of the country’s oil production.
So far, Tripoli’s downtown is on the lock-down by the two brigades and sounds of gunfire and heavy shelling is heard around the capital as fears of civilians mount regarding whether this would be a new war or just another round of skirmishes inside the unstable capital.
No clear interference by the GNA security authorities has been registered so far and there has not been any statement by any official about the looming conflict.