By Sami Zaptia.
London, 9 May 2021:
A group of state-recognized militias forced their way into the grounds of the Corinthia hotel in Tripoli on Friday night seeking Presidency Council head Mohamed Menfi. Some reports say they entered the hotel, others say they confined themselves to the exterior entrance.
They were protesting the Presidency Council’s removal of Emad Trabelsi as head of Intelligence and the appointing of Hussein Al-Aaeb instead. They were also protesting against Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush who has irked Libyan allies of Turkey by continuously insisting that all foreign mercenaries and forces should leave Libya. Although she never mentions Turkey by name, by insisting on asaying ‘‘all foreign mercenaries and forces’’ she is implying Turkish forces too.
The Official Spokesperson for the Presidency Council, Najwa Wheba, tried to deflect the act by commenting on Friday that ‘‘The storming that took place tonight in Tripoli is a storming of a hotel, not the headquarters of the Presidential Council, which does not have a permanent headquarters for meetings.
The site is one of the council’s meeting headquarters, and today is a weekly holiday, not a working day, and no one was harmed. We wish everyone to investigate the information from its sources.’’
Nevertheless, the only reason the Corinthia was targeted was precisely because the Presidency Council uses it at least as one of its main offices.
The incident underlines just how much Libya is still a militia state. Militias, aligned to and recognized by the state, are able to act whenever they like to affect Libyan political events with impunity. There was no reaction on the incident from the state.