Libya: Haftar Calls for the People to Rebel in Tripoli

  • Militia forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya April 28, 2019.
    Militia forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya April 28, 2019. | Photo: Reuters
  • Militia from the U.N.-backed National Accord Government (GNA) continue to try to hold the city against Haftar forces. 
The Libyan National Army (LNA) commander, Khalifa Haftar, is trying to incite a revolt in Tripoli amid signs of popular agitation against the Tripoli-based National Accord Government (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Serraj and backed by the United Nations.

RELATED: Macron Seeks Meeting with Haftar to Reach Ceasefire in Libya

The LNA says pro-GNA militias, which came from the city of Misrata, arrested about 180 Haftar supporters in Tripoli and held them captive.
After this event, the LNA called on Tripoli’s inhabitants “whose children are held captive by the militia, to get up and get rid of the outlaws.”
Militias are trying to hold the city from an LNA takeover that has been making its way to the capital under Haftar since early April. GNA forces killed at least 15 LNA members Saturday May 18, reports EFE, as the two sides are trying to control strategic areas of the city, including the now defunct airport.
From 2014 and on, Libya has had two political power centers: a United Nations-backed government in Tripoli, that is having a hard time governing the capital city and some western areas; and another government in Tobruk, an eastern city which has remained under the Haftar’s control.
On April 4, the LNA commander launched a military offensive against Tripoli that is already engaged in long-lasting conflict that has left 454 dead, 2,154 wounded and over 63,000 displaced, according to local media 218TV net.

RELATED: Macron: No Bet on Both Sides, France Supports Sarraj in Libya

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte met with the LNA commander in Rome Thursday, urging him to end his offensive on Tripoli. “We spoke with Hafter for a long time and I have expressed Italy’s concern about the situation in Libya, we want a ceasefire and we trust in the political path as a solution to the conflict,” said the Italian leader.
Haftar will hold talks with the French President Emmanuel Macron next week to discuss peace talks in the country, a Macron source said last week.
“They will discuss the situation in Libya, the conditions for a return to political dialogue after the visit of the leader of the GNA, Fayez al-Sarraj, and in coordination with the United Nations and its partners,” the source told Reuters.
Meanwhile, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, requested an end to the armed confrontation in Tripoli and to establish a national dialogue between Libyans.
During a previous meeting with the French special envoy to Libya, Frederic Dessano, Bogdanov stressed his country’s commitment to strengthen the Libyan political process in order to establish unified institutions. He also reiterated Moscow’s support to the United Nations envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame.

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