Clashes erupted in the Libyan capital on Tuesday when parliament-appointed Prime Minister Fathi Basha tried to take over there, but was forced to return by a rival administration that refuses to cede power.

Basha entered Tripoli at night after a two-month stalemate between Libya’s rival administrations, but withdrew a few hours later when the capital was rocked by fighting, his office said.

The crisis risks returning Libya to protracted fighting after two years of comparative peace or returning it to a division between the eastern-backed Bashagi government and the Tripoli administration led by Abdulhamid al-Dayba.

The political stalemate has already led to a partial blockade of Libya’s oil facilities, halving its main source of foreign income. Diplomacy in resolving the crisis or preparing the ground for new elections is slow.

The sounds of heavy weapons and machine guns were heard in the capital on Tuesday morning when schools were canceled and usually heavy traffic during rush hour was rare.

The sporadic shooting continued after Basha left, but calmed down later in the morning.

“I don’t think everything will return to cool, static and relaxed,” said Libyan expert Jalel Kharchaui, adding that Dbeiba is likely to try to put more pressure on groups in Tripoli, Bashaga’s allies.

However, a wider escalation seemed unlikely, he said, given Bashaga’s quick exit from Tripoli after the fighting began.

In the central areas, away from clashes on the northeast side of Tripoli, there was little evidence of military activity when the Dbiba government was still under explicit control.

Due to the fact that neither side seems to be able to create a decisive military advantage across the country, Libya now seems set on a longer period of stalemate, when Dbeyba is firmly entrenched in Tripoli and his enemies are unable to take him.

This could prolong the closure of major oil facilities by forces in eastern Libya linked to Commander-in-Chief Khalifa Haftar, or clashes escalating outside the capital.

Dead end

Libya has had weak security since the NATO-backed uprising in 2011 that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, and in 2014 it split between rival eastern and western factions before a 2020 truce that resulted in a fragile unity government. Дбейбы.

The plan for the December election failed amid disputes between major factions and well-known candidates over the rules, and the parliament, which was on the east side during the war, moved on to appointing a new administration.

Prime Minister of the Unity Government Dbeib rejected the steps of the parliament, saying that his administration is still in operation and he will hand over power only after the election.

Basha, a former interior minister who, like Dbeiba, comes from the mighty coastal city of Misurata, has repeatedly stated that he will enter Tripoli without violence. His previous attempts to do so ended in his convoy being blocked by rival factions.

Last week, parliament said the Bashagi government could work from Sirte, the central city near the frozen front line between the eastern and western factions.

Diplomacy is focused on talks between parliament and the legislature in Tripoli to lay the groundwork for another attempt to resolve the conflict in Libya through elections.

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