Author: Joe

Libyan rebels storm the city of Sabratha in protest at the fall of Tripoli

Libyan rebels storm the city of Sabratha in protest at the fall of Tripoli

‘We are a tinderbox’: Political violence is ramping up, experts warn

By Paul Lewis

BBC News, Tripoli

Tripoli’s parliament is suspended while people march in protest at the fall of Tripoli. On the day before they stormed the parliament in the capital, the rebels accused the city government of “collusion” with the “terrorist army in Benghazi”. The country’s prime minister flew to Italy to try and resolve the standoff. At least seven people were killed in clashes on Monday between rebel forces and the Libyan army in the city of Sabratha. The BBC’s Tomi Oladipo in west central Tripoli says it is not clear exactly who initiated the conflict, but there are signs of tension between the Tripoli government and the army. “The question now is, does the army want to open the country to rebel attacks, does the government want to shut the rebels out? What it will achieve, I don’t know. But there is a real possibility that the city will fall without one side or the other having won a clear victory,” he adds. The BBC’s correspondent in Rome, Mike Swarbrick, says the prime minister of Tripoli, Fayez al-Sarraj, arrived in Italy on Monday to try to find a solution to the standoff in Sabratha. “The trouble in Sabratha was not the fact that Muammar Gaddafi was killed but that his forces, the Qaddafi loyalists, decided to take control in some small way… but the Qaddafi loyalists are in control there now,” he says. “I think that the Libyan government is trying to find a way to have some authority over the people of Sabratha,” says Mr Swarbrick. The political deadlock in the city has been caused by two rival governments fighting for control over what was once a prosperous oil producing strip of the country. Rebel fighters who fled to west Tripoli are demanding that the “gullible” government of prime minister al-Sarraj step down. The government of the interior ministry and the presidential guard were to hold a meeting on Monday afternoon to try to restore the authority of a local parliament in Tripoli, but the meeting was called off early on Monday. The armed opponents of al-Sarraj were planning to march on the central square of the city but instead they set off towards the presidential compound. There were conflicting accounts on the ground that

Leave a Comment