Libyan Cities Increasingly Isolated

A few weeks ago, Abdullah and his wife and kids fled to the city that strongly opposes the Islamists and supports their archenemy, Hifter. Backed by tribal chieftains in the east of Libya, Hifter has been mounting offensives against extremist militias in Benghazi after it fell under their control. He promised to eliminate them in a battle he called "Karama," or dignity.

Like Abdullah, thousands of Libyans from different cities have come to Bayda, which was among the first to revolt against Gadhafi and has become, since last summer, the interim capital of the internationally recognized government. This came to pass after the Libya Dawn forces, who are affiliated with the extremist tribal alliance, tightened their grip on Tripoli following fierce battles with the Zintan Brigades, which are affiliated with the liberal national forces alliance led by Mahmoud Jibril.

The hotels of Bayda accommodate a surplus of employees and officials whose accommodations are paid for by the interim government while they work on pumping new blood into the collapsed and divided state — a state run by two governments and two parliaments, one located in the far east of the country and one in Tripoli.

Advisers of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni aspire to build alternative mechanisms for governmental affairs in Tripoli, which is ruled by a competing government formed by the General National Congress, whose term has ended.

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