By John Lee.
Chaos and confusion are the order of the day in Tripoli, as claims of an attempted coup by forces loyal to the old Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) / National Salvation are dismissed as a “media hoax” by the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).
Reuters had reported that Khalifa Ghwell, head of the self-declared government that ran Tripoli until early last year, made a televised speech claiming his forces had recaptured some “state institutions” including the ministry of defense. A statement by supporters of Ghwell said the labour and martyrs’ ministries were also under their control.
But Middle East Monitor quotes a spokesman for Fayez Al-Sarraj’s GNA as stating that the group was just “trying to sow chaos [and] they have no means to control.” He said the ministry buildings that Ghwell claims to have seized are either under maintenance, not controlled by Al-Sarraj’s government, or were seized only briefly before being let go. “This is nothing more than a media hoax,” he said. “They are trying to sabotage the only internationally recognised government in Libya.”
Meanwhile, according to Libya Herald, members of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) who support the Libyan Political Agreement have attempted to set up their own parliament in Tripoli. Pro-LNA members are reported to have taken over the tourism ministry headquarters near the port, putting up a notice that it was now the HoR headquarters. The move has been condemned by Tobruk.
(Sources: Reuters, Middle East Monitor, Libya Herald)