In August, Libya’s parliament moved to Tobruk, with members saying they were facing a constant risk of violence in the capital. Dozens of politicians, journalists and activists in Tripoli have been arrested, kidnapped or killed, a trend that has only intensified since a loose alliance of mainly Islamist militias going under the name of Libya Dawn took control of most of the city several weeks ago.
This port city of 200,000 was little prepared for its new role as a strategic hub for those in retreat. There are only five hotels, so the authorities initially rented a Greek car ferry to house the overflow, while they tried to find more permanent accommodations.
The previous Libyan parliament, dominated by members sympathetic to Libya Dawn, continues to meet in Tripoli even though the representatives were supposed to step down after the June election. Islamist politicians fared poorly in that vote, and the few who won elections have been boycotting the new parliament in Tobruk.