Fragile Tripoli security arrangements continue to hold
On 6 October, the Government of National Accord (GNA) and its UN-backed committee announced new security arrangements in the capital Tripoli. Some of the Tripoli militia leaders and their armed groups have handed over either positions or checkpoints under their control to units within the Ministry of Interior, while most others either handed over nominal control or recycled their roles in different forms. The Nawasi brigade nominally left Tripoli port while the Special Deterrence Force (RADA) nominally left Mitiga airport, leaving security to regular units within a new department called the Vital Facilities Protection Department. Other armed groups of the Tripoli Protection Force coalition have handed over locations to the Public Security and Checkpoints Department led by Imad Trabilsi in the western region of Tripoli, while others like the 301 Brigade have retaken control of previously held areas in southern Tripoli. The security vacuum left by the withdrawal of the Liwa 7th Brigade forces from Tarhuna and the Liwa Sumoud forces from Misrata is yet unfilled by the GNA’s Joint Protection force, and sources on the ground report preparations by these withdrawing forces to retake their positions and renter Tripoli again if security arrangements and associated political efforts fail.
This fragility is now being compounded with controversial and unilateral political moves by the head of the Government of National Accord, Fayze al-Serraj, that could unwind the security arrangements and collapse the GNA itself. On 7th October, Serraj announced a cabinet reshuffle, appointing Misrata powerbroker Fathi Bashagha as Minister of Interior and Ali Essawi as Minister of Economy amongst other changes. Fathi Bashagha, a House of Representatives (HoR) boycotting member from Misrata, went on air on the same day and rejected the appointment outright.