Tensions have been rising within Tripolitania’s various militias the GNA’s PM and Defence Minister have sought to allay them, but they have done so in ways that empower those very militias and make it likely that they can exert greater influence over Tripoli, the GNA, or any successor fourth transitional government.
At a meeting on 12 January, Salah al-Namroush, the GNA’s Defence Minister reportedly signed a so-called ‘code of honour’ agreement with the GNA’s Chief of Staff, Mohammed al-Haddad, and the commanders of the GNA’s western, central and Tripoli military zones. According to reports, this ‘code of honour’ bans all fighting among the units and requires all forces to be subject to the rule of law. The meeting’s attendees reportedly agreed to form a committee to prevent armed clashes between forces.
On 18 January, Fayez al-Serraj, appointed the commander of the Abu Salim Security Directorate (also known as the Ghinaywa militia), Abdelghani Belgassim (also known as Ghinaywa al-Kikli), to head a new security apparatus dubbed the ‘Stability Support Apparatus’. The Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade’s commander, Ayoud Abu Ras, as well as Hassan Abu Zarbia and Mousa Mahmoud, have been appointed to the new apparatus as deputies. The new entity is assigned to undertake security operations related to national security issues, as well as policing-related activities.