The Government of National Unity (GNU) said that the clashes in the capital, Tripoli, came after negotiations to spare the capital bloodshed with an initiative that obliges all parties to go to elections at the end of 2022 as a solution to the political crisis.
The GNU indicated in a statement Saturday that the party represented by Fathi Bashagha evaded the initiative at the last moment after seeing positive indications towards a peaceful solution instead of violence and chaos.
"The negotiations which saw huge flexibility by the GNU by extending a peaceful hand was with the participation of military and political parties that represented the other side [Bashagha] and some showed agreement for peace on national grounds. A third meeting for the initiative was supposed to be in Friday in Misrata to go over the terms of agreement but it was canceled abruptly at the last minute in line with military escalation in and around Tripoli. We condemn the aggression and treason." The statement reads.
The GNU said that the reason for the fighting was that a military group opened random fire on a convoy passing through Al-Zawiya Street, as armed groups were mobilizing at Checkpoint 27 in west Tripoli and Gebis Checkpoint in south Tripoli to implement Bashagha’s announcement of intention to carry out an offensive on Tripoli.
The GNU also added that it would continue to protect people and secure the country and the citizens as well as “cut the hands” of those who create chaos in Tripoli.
Heavy clashes broke out Saturday dawn in downtown Tripoli neighborhoods, leaving deaths and injuries as well as lots of material damage in public and private properties.