Clashes erupted Tuesday in the Libyan capital of Tripoli following the arrival of one of the country’s rival prime ministers there with the expectation to seat his government.
Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha’s office said in a terse statement that he arrived in Tripoli with a number of ministers from his Cabinet — three months after his appointment to lead an interim administration in the crisis-stricken nation. The statement did not provide further details.
There was no immediate comment from the government of embattled Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who is based in Tripoli.
The development is likely to fuel more tensions between Libya’s rival administrations. Local media reported clashes between different militias and rival forces supporting the two sides in central Tripoli and elsewhere in the city.
“We arrived in the capital peacefully and safely. The reception was excellent,” Bashagha said in video comments, adding that his government was ready to work with all Libyans, including those opposing him. He made no reference to the clashes.
The U.N. special adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams, called for calm and for rival parties to refrain from taking part in the clashes.
“Conflict cannot be solved with violence, but with dialogue and mediation,” she tweeted, adding that the United Nations is ready to host all parties “in helping Libya find a genuine, consensual way forward towards stability and elections.”