Fathi Bashagha, the Interior Minister for Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), has announced a new security campaign to “fight organised crime and drug dealers” in Tripoli, Italy’s Nova news agency reported.
In press remarks, Bashagha said that the campaign’s plan was set up by the Chief of Staff of the GNA’s forces in the western military region, Nova added.
He said that they have asked for international support for the campaign, adding that a number of countries will back this operation.
However, the GNA’s Ministry of Defence has reportedly denied any coordination with the Ministry of Interior, as well as any knowledge of the campaign, Nova wrote.
It added that neither the Ministry of Defence nor the commanders based in the western military regions and Tripoli were informed of this coordination or the campaign.
The Ministry of Defence said that its main goal “is protecting Libya through unifying the efforts of security and military institutions in counterterrorism and combating extremism, human trafficking and organised crime”.
Last Friday, GNA Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj travelled to Italy’s capital, Rome, where he met with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
Later, Turkey received a high-profile security delegation, involving Al-Sarraj, his Minister of Defence, and Libyan militia leaders, most of whom came from the north-western city of Misrata, according to Nova.
Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the setting up of a monitoring group.
The group would include civilians and retired soldiers from regional groups, such as the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), and the Arab League. It would oversee Libya’s fragile ceasefire that was agreed upon between rival parties in October, and which has been widely flouted over recent weeks.
According to Guterres’s proposal, the monitors will be distributed in a triangular section of Libya focused around Sirte, from where they would then expand to other parts of the country.