Situation in Libya

House of Representatives set on fire by protesters in Libyan city of Tobruk

by Middle East Monitor

Libyan protesters on Friday stormed the House of Representatives in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk and set the building on fire, Anadolu Agency reported.

The Libyan-based February television channel revealed that a group of protesters stormed the House of Representatives with a bulldozer and set the building on fire.

Local Libyan TV channels reported footage showing fire and smoke rising from Parliament.

A group organised on social media under the “Youth Revolution” slogan had called for demonstrations and civil disobedience on 1 July in all cities.

Demonstrators demanded that the legislative and executive bodies be abolished, Anadolu Agency reported, insisting that a state of emergency be declared and elections held as soon as possible.

Hundreds of young people gathered in Martyrs’ Square in the nation’s capital of Tripoli to start the protest.

The protesters also called for solving the electricity crisis and lowering prices.

According to Anadolu Agency, the protests came following the failure of the negotiations of a joint committee consisting of Libya’s High Council of State and members of the House of Representatives, held under the leadership of the United Nations between 11-19 June in Cairo.

With the participation of the UN Special Advisor on Libya Stephanie Williams, meetings in Geneva on 28-30 June with the Presidents of the House of Representatives Aguila Saleh and High Council of State Khaled Al-Mishri, did not reach a consensus.

Williams announced on Thursday that the sides could not reach an agreement and that Fathi Bashagha, who was elected prime minister by the House in Tobruk, threatened to enter Tripoli by force.

In November 2020, Libyan sides, who talked under UN patronage, decided to hold elections on 24 December, 2021, but polls could not be held on the scheduled date.

The Tobruk-based House, which is working under the power of the renegade Libyan Colonel Khalifa Haftar, elected Bashagha as prime minister on 10 February.

MPs from other cities, including Tripoli, did not attend the session on the grounds that the mandate of the Government of National Unity (GNU) had expired. The Bashagha government was granted a vote of confidence on 1 March.

Meanwhile, Government of National Unity Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh accused the House of deviating from the roadmap determined in the Geneva ceasefire agreement, stating that he was in charge and would hand power only to an elected government.

Middle East Monitor
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