Libya: Moving Dbaiba’s Government to Sirte Has Become An Urgent National Demand

Libyan political analyst Radwan al-Fitouri said that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the interim Government of National Unity (GNU), Najla al-Mangoush, did what many so-called “patriots” could not do over the years. He described al-Mangoush as the “Iron Lady”.

(Libya, 10 May 2021) – In a statement to Annahar Al-Arabi on Sunday, Radwan al-Fitouri said: “Al-Mangoush stood in front of the terrorist and media machine which is driven by Turkey, and said that its forces must leave.” He added, “the followers of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected these statements because they are well aware that if the Turkish forces leave Libya, they will no longer have power, and they are sheltering under these foreign forces and their survival is linked to its continuation.”

Al-Fitouri said al-Mangoush’s visit to Qatrun was significant, and carried several messages to the Libyan interior and to the international community.

On the attempt by armed groups to storm the Corinthia Hotel, he said that Prime Minister of the interim GNU Abdul Hamid Dbaiba was paying the price for not choosing Sirte as the seat of his government’s meetings. In Tripoli the Dbaiba government will be always at risk of militia incursion.

“The siege of the headquarters of the Presidential Council was expected, to revolt against the new authority, and these armed groups would not dare to attack the hotel without Turkey’s permission,” al-Fitouri said.

He emphasized that the transfer of Dbaiba’s government to Sirte has become an urgent national demand and necessity, if he wants to lead his government to safety and hold the December elections.

Al-Fitouri did not believe the hotel siege by militias would affect the efforts of the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya. He explained: “We will see condemnations and shifts in the international tone, but in any case they do not rise to the level of action on the ground. I see that the closest internal reaction to be an official government condemnation of these militias.”

“There is a growing talk about al-Mangoush’s determination to move her ministry headquarters to Benghazi in light of the direct threats to her life and threatening fatwas,” claimed al-Fitouri.


Islamists Attack Libya’s Foreign Minister

Due to a concerted campaign by pro-Turkey loyalist against the Libyan Foreign Minister of the interim Government of National Unity (GNU), Najla al-Mangoush, after she demanded that all foreign forces and mercenaries leave Libya, a number of activists launched a Twitter campaign under the hashtag #ندعم_نجلاء_المنقوش (We Support Najla al-Mangoush) to support her. 

(Libya, 6 May 2021) – This trending hashtag went against another hashtag launched by a number of Libyan and Arab activists loyal to Turkey under #اقالة_نجلاء_المنقوش (Dismissal of Najla al-Mangoush). This was in protest against her statement on the need for all foreign forces and mercenaries to leave Libyan territory, including Turkish forces and mercenaries working with them.

Many Libyan commentators resented the comments made by Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar, which flaunted by the Turkish Ministry of Defense when he posted his footage in Mitiga while talking about how to sit down and protocol.

The spread of the #ندعم_نجلاء_المنقوش hashtag reflects a massive consensus among Libyans on the need for all foreign forces and mercenaries without exception to exit Libya—whether they are Turks or others—as al-Mangoush asserted. Pro-Turkey loyalists had manipulated her statements to make it seem as if she was demanding the exit of the Turks only and for Russians or African mercenaries to remain.

Many Libyans see the backlash against al-Mangoush because she dared to speak to the Turkish Foreign Minister in Tripoli about the need to respect Libya’s sovereignty.

Al-Mangoushs’s demands, however, are nothing new or strange. She is merely confirming what the what Prime Minister Abdul Hamid al-Dbaiba himself confirmed, as well as the Security Council resolutions and the Berlin outputs, all of which specify need for everyone to leave Libya, without exception—whether by agreements or any other way.

As for the anti-Mangoush hashtag, those who launched escalated their campaign by publishing edited clips of an old video that was published and translated by a page called “Libya Times” that supports Fathi Bashagha and is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party. The video shows al-Mangoush in 2019 discussing at a seminary on the situation in Benghazi and the reason why people support the leadership of the Libyan National Army after the outbreaks of terrorism in the city.

Al-Mangoush also said in the same seminar that Fayez al-Sarraj was responsible for the Tripoli war, because in one of the talks with Field Marshal Haftar he had agreed to allow the army to come to Tripoli and handed over camps as part of the efforts unify the army. But Sarraj reneged on his promise and war broke out.

The rest of the video of al-Mangoush’s speech at the seminar was left out by the Islamists, where she talked about some shortcomings in the eastern region, especially on the economic situation, corruption and the alarming situation of human rights. Her explanation as a researcher and academic was balanced on the situation, and she did not show any support except against terrorists who had captured her city, Benghazi.


Threats against Najla al-Mangoush escalated to dangerous leverls over the last few days. The radical Islamist cleric, Sadiq al-Gharyani, who currently lives in Turkey, attacked al-Mangoush going against Turkey, on his channel, Al-Tanasuh, describing her as “mean, despicable, and serving the Zionist project.”

Sami al-Saadi, who is a key member of the terrorist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), and currently Secretary-General of Research Council at Dar al-Iftaa, living in Turkey too, said on Facebook: “Respect feelings of the families of martyrs. Enough is enough.” And at the end of his post he used the Islamist hashtag against al-Mangoush: #اقالة_نجلاء_المنقوش.


Last night, protest by the Islamist armed groups took a further turn when several militia leaders were invited by Imad al-Trabelsi to meet in the evening at the Tobacco Factory in Tripoli. At the meeting Mohamed al-Hassan, commander of the 166th Brigade of the General Staff, called on militias to mobilize arms and besiege the Presidential Council HQ and Ministry of Interior. 

They denounced Foreign Minister Najla al-#Mangoush and rejected the appointment of Major General Hussein al-Ayeb as head of Intelligence, which would replace Imad al-Trabelsi from the same position as chief of the intelligence services.

The same group then went on to storm the Corinthia Hotel last night looking for the Chairman of the Presidential Council, Mohamed al-Menfi, and Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush.