Tripoli government names rival Haftar Libya's military chief

  • Dominika Jandová
  • 10.5.2017 00:16

Libyan foreign minister Mohammed Siyala of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) named General Khalifa Haftar, the leader or the rival Tobruk-based Libyan National Army (LNA) that controls the east of Libya, as the legitimate head of the Libyan army. Haftar must also recognise the GNA as only legitimate political authority in Libya, Al Jazeera reported on 9 May.

The announcement follows the recent meeting in Abu Dhabi between Haftar and the head of the UN-backed government in Tripoli, Fayez al-Sarraj. Also as a result of the international diplomatic pressure both leaders promised to calm tension in Libya and fight against terrorism but the rivals offered no shared way forward for a political deal to unify the country. This step could ease chaos in the country and make fighting with other military factions and Islamist militias more effective. Al Jazeera also reported that the statement about Haftar's new role caused a wave of criticism in Tripoli as Haftar is a divisive figure among Libyans. 

About author: Dominika Jandová

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