Standoff in Libya as Two Rival Governments Seek Power

PM-designate accuses rival of capturing ministers trying to travel to Tobruk

Since the NATO-imposed regime change, one of the most consistent issues Libya has is governments, either not having one, or having several competing governments at once.

Thursday saw PM-designate Fathi Bashagha taking the oath of office, and forming a government that will try to take control from Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who is refusing to step down.

It’s a tale of no small familiarity in Libya. Bashagha is accusing Dbeibah of trying to block the new parliament from meeting. Dbeibah closed airspace to prevent parliament flying to Tobruk for a session of parliament, and is also accused of arranging the arrest of multiple ministers to make sure the new cabinet couldn’t travel by land either.

Bashagha submitted his cabinet Tuesday, and it is facing resistance over procedural rules, which may keep the matter in dispute for some time.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.