TRIPOLI: After skirmishes between supporters of opposing administrations left at least 32 people dead and raised concerns of a significant new conflict, flights resumed and stores reopened in Tripoli, the capital of Libya, on Sunday.The bloodiest fighting in the Libyan city since a historic ceasefire in 2020 had begun on Friday evening when armed groups traded fire, damaging numerous hospitals and setting structures on fire.
By Saturday night, there was a tentative calm, and on Sunday morning, the health ministry reported that 32 people had died and 159 had been injured as a result of the clashes.Fighting broke out after months of escalating hostilities between supporters of Abdulhamid Dbeibah and Fathi Bashagha, whose opposing governments are battling for power in the North African nation that has experienced more than a decade of conflict since an uprising in 2011.
Bashagha has so far been barred from entering office in the capital by Dbeibah’s administration, which was put in place as part of a United Nations-led peace process last year. Dbeibah’s administration maintains that the next administration should be the result of elections.
The eastern-based parliament of Libya chose Bashagha as its leader earlier this year, and he has the backing of Khalifa Haftar, the strongman in control of the military in the area, whose attempt to seize the capital by force in 2019 culminated in a civil war that lasted a full year.