In Tripoli, this week was marked by the Islamic State (IS) claiming responsibility for an attack on Tripoli’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) headquarters on 25 Dec. The attack, reportedly carried out by at least three militants carrying machine guns and wearing personal-borne improvised explosive device vests (PBIEDs), resulted in three fatalities and 21 injuries, according to the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Ministry of Health. Meanwhile, IS claimed to have inflicted 31 casualties, whilst vowing to take revenge against those who fought against the IS in Sirte. The incident stands as the third largest IS attack to hit the capital city in the last seven months, largely undermining recent efforts to enhance security through new security arrangements.
This week was marked by increased Libyan National Army (LNA) presence in the Oil Crescent region and its surrounding areas following rumors of a potential attack due to reports of Ibrahim Jathran’s forces mobilizing near As Saddadah. area. Meanwhile, in Tripoli, an attack on the house of a former militia commander marks the ongoing spate of incidents targeting militia commanders across the capital city. Beyond this, a circulated video of LNA soldiers threatening to attack Tripoli could fuel anti-LNA sentiment in the West and potentially undermine the recent security arrangements across the capital city.
The Palermo Conference for Libya concluded on 13 Nov with a joint press conference by the head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salame, and the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, reiterating the need for Libya’s conflict to be solved politically, with no room for military means. A statement was issued at the closing of the Conference, signed by the Presidential Council (PC), the House of Representatives (HoR), the High Council of State (HCS), the Libyan National Army (LNA), the European Union (EU), World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations (UN), Arab League, in addition to representatives of over two dozen countries. The signatories reaffirmed support for the December 2015 Libyan Political Agreement (LNA) signed in Shkirat, Morocco, as the only existing framework providing comprehensive steps to achieve stability in Libya.