Support for the Government of National Accord (GNA), Libya's U.N.-backed unity government, is growing. However, staunch opposition remains. On March 19, hundreds of pro- and anti-GNA demonstrators clashed in Tripoli. Among the supporters were a number of Misratans, whose presence is notable because of their longtime loyalty to the Tripoli-based General National Congress.
Over the past few days, several senior members of the Misratan militia have publicly supported the unity government, calling on the head of Libya's Tripoli-based government to resign and cede power to the GNA's proposed prime minister, Faiz Serraj. The Misratan militia's move comes as the group ramps up its cooperation with the West. Within the past few months, the militia has benefited from training by U.S. and British special operations forces, and its support for the new government will play an important role in the GNA's success. Other militias in western Libya have joined the Misratan militia in backing the unity government as well.
Still, the General National Congress will not give up its power easily. During the week of March 14, Serraj announced that the GNA would move from Tunisia to Tripoli. To make the security arrangements needed to execute the transfer, Serraj signed a security deal with local militias to allow the GNA to enter Tripoli. But General National Congress Prime Minister Khalifa al-Ghwell has threatened to arrest all members of the unity government upon entry into the city, and local militias loyal to the General National Congress remain resistant to the proposed unity government.