Fragile security situation in Tripoli
The clashes in Tripoli over last month subsided 25 September. A set of side agreements between Government of National Accord (GNA) officials and Tripoli-based militias on one hand and elders/armed groups from neighbouring towns on the other halted the fighting and led to a fast withdrawal of Tarhuna and Salah Badi forces from southern Tripoli. This helped to solidify the UN brokered security arrangements and buy time for the GNA to secure the capital. However, the security situation remains highly fragile. On 27 September, clashes broke out west of the capital and continue intermittently, with security expected to unravel further should the GNA not move quickly on promised security reforms. The appeal by the GNA foreign minister to the UN General Assembly to change the mandate of UNSMIL from a political to a ‘security’ support mandate was met with criticism, provoking condemnations against international peacekeeping forces. While the GNA’s Presidency Council continues to entrench its power, the UN, House of Representatives (HoR) and High Council of State (HCS) have entered new negotiations last week for a new three member Presidency Council reflecting the three regions of Libya, in tandem with a constitutional referendum which is supposed to happen mid October. Meanwhile, on 29 September, the UN Special Envoy to Libya declared that Libya may not be in position to hold the elections scheduled for December 2018.