Despite ceasefire, Tripoli faces political and economic challenges

North Africa

People on the streets of Tripoli are apprehensive about the ceasefire agreement signed between the fighting factions in the city due to previous failures.

An intensification of armed clashes led to the signing of a UN-brokered ceasefire agreement at the end of August, aimed at putting an end to the violence in the southern suburbs of the Libyan capital city, Tripoli. The ceasefire agreement stipulates that civilians should not be harmed and that public and private property should not be damaged.

Nevertheless, citizens on the street remain apprehensive about the ceasefire agreement, having seen such precedents fail before:

“The questions asked by many citizens include the terms of this agreement and how seriously it will be applied”, said a resident in Tripoli.

However, there remains some glimmer of hope:

“This agreement is certainly more important than the previous agreements, considering that the United Nations and the UN mission in Libya are the supervisors”, remarked another man interviewed on the streets of Tripoli.

The precarious security, political and economic situation in Tripoli has been exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the city as it continues to experience power shortages, a severe accumulation of waste and the displacement of civilians:

“The black area is located between the two sides of the fight, and it is difficult to get to this area because there is no safe passage and the roads are blocked by barriers. This has further intensified the problem and I have received more than 3000 distress calls demanding displacement”, commented Osama Ali, official spokesperson for the Ambulance and Emergency Services. 

The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli declared a state of emergency after clashes broke out on 27 August, involving the Seventh Brigade, an armed group based in Tarhouna, 65km southeast of the capital, which launched an attack against rival militias. A number of other small armed groups, which had been pushed out of the capital have been involved in the fighting. Although the GNA is currently officially in control of Tripoli, it lacks legitimacy across several local groups.

Image: France 24