Malta condemns assassination attempt of Libyan interior minister Bashagha

Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo joins UN special envoy for Libya Jan Kubis in condemning attempted assassination of Libyan Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha in Tripoli

Libyan Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha
Libyan Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha

Evarist Bartolo has condemned the assassination attempt on Libya’s Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha in Tripoli on Sunday and called for a transparent investigation.

The Foreign Minister said the “violent act” threatens the ongoing political process in Libya.

On Sunday, Bashagha’s motorcade came under fire from personnel of the Stability Support Apparatus (SSA), an entity under the wing of the Government of National Accord. Bashagha survived the attack, which took place in Janzour, a district of Tripoli.

Bashagha claimed in a statement that he was targeted personally in an assassination attempt but the SSA insisted the incident was the result of lack of communication between its own personnel and Bashagha’s security.

“Malta joins the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Libya Jan Kubis in condemning and expressing concern on the assassination attempt on the UN-backed government’s Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha, in the capital city of Tripoli,” Bartolo said on Monday.

He called for a “transparent investigation” and reiterated his appeal to all parties to commit to the UN-led political process and join forces in building a safe and prosperous Libya.

Libyans agreed recently to appoint a UN-backed transitional authority that would lead the country to national elections on 24 December.

The Libya Observer, a newspaper, reported that the Presidential Council and the prime minister of the new executive authority called for a transparent investigation into the exchange of fire between Bashagha's guards and personnel from the SSA.

They denounced the incident and called on “judicial and police apparatuses to open an investigation and bring the ones behind it to justice”.