Ghwell Announces Seizure of Several Tripoli Ministries
The Associated Press reports that forces loyal to Khalifa al-Ghwell, head of the self-declared Government of National Salvation, took control of the ministries of defense, labor and the “martyrs and the wounded” in Tripoli yesterday. Ghwell announced a ‘coup’ in Tripoli in October, taking control of the old GNC building which had housed the High Council of State, but not seizing any political power. His main allies are Islamist militias, many of which are allied with the Mufti Sadeq al-Ghariyani.
A spokesman for Serraj’s government dismissed the moves by Ghwell’s forces, saying “they are trying to sow chaos but they have no means to control.” He said the ministries Ghwell claimed to have seized are either under maintenance, not controlled by Serraj’s government, or were seized briefly before being let go.
In a televised speech, Ghwell declared that all the past arrangements brokered by the U.N. are “invalid,” and described Serraj’s government as “expired.” Referring to his forces as the “Presidential Guard,” he ordered them to secure the capital and warned other militias to stand down. He also called for new talks among Libyan factions without foreign mediators.
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