Libya protesters storm parliament building in Tobruk | protests news

According to the Libyan media, demonstrators demonstrated against deteriorating living conditions and political blockades.

Demonstrators stormed the Libyan Parliament building in the eastern city of Tobruk, demonstrating against the deteriorating living conditions and political deadlock, Libyan media reported.

Several television channels reported on Friday that protesters had managed to enter the parliament building and committed vandalism, while media showed images of thick columns of black smoke billowing from its perimeter as angry young protesters burned tyres.

Other media reports said part of the building burned down. The parliament building was empty as Friday falls on the weekend in Libya.

“We want the lights to work,” chanted the protesters.

Demonstrations also took place in other cities the previous Friday, al-Wasat reported. In the western capital of Tripoli, several hundred people gathered in a central square to protest against armed militias and demand better electricity supply and lower bread prices.

Pictures from the protest in Tobruk in the east of the country showed a protester driving a bulldozer that had managed to smash through part of a gate, allowing other protesters easier access to the parliament building. Other protesters, some waving the green flags of the Gaddafi regime, threw office documents into the air.

Libya has suffered power outages for several days, exacerbated by the blockade of several oil facilities amid political rivalries.

MP Balkheir Alshaab told the Libyan broadcaster Al-Ahrar: “We must recognize our failure and withdraw from the political arena immediately.”

Libya’s parliament, or House of Representatives, has been based in Tobruk, hundreds of kilometers east of the capital Tripoli, since an east-west schism in 2014 following the revolt that ousted longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi three years earlier.

Libyan news website al-Wasat reported that protesters in Tobruk are demanding the dissolution of parliament and new elections. At the same time, the protests were also directed against the poor living conditions in the country.

There have also been repeated clashes between armed groups in Tripoli in recent weeks, fueling fears of a return to full-scale conflict.

Two governments are currently competing for power in Libya.

In the capital, Tripoli, interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah is in charge. At the same time, the government of former interior minister Fathi Bashagha is claiming power for itself. The latter is allied with the parliament at Tobruk to the east.

A peace process beginning in 2020 has attempted to weld the country back together. However, after a planned December election was scrapped, the east-based parliament declared that Abdul Hamid Dbeibah’s interim unity government had expired and appointed Fathi Bashagha as his successor.

Fierce fighting broke out between two influential militias from western Libya earlier this month. Local media identified the armed groups as the Nawasi Brigade – a militia loyal to Bashagha – and the Stability Support Force, which supports Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.

No motive for the fighting was immediately apparent, but it was the latest violence that shook the country as two rival prime ministers vied for power.

The United Nations said Thursday talks between rival Libyan institutions aimed at breaking the impasse failed to resolve key differences.

Although some progress has been made, it hasn’t been enough to move towards the elections as the two sides are still at odds over who can run in the presidential election, said the UN’s top Libya envoy, Stephanie Williams, who facilitated the talks .