New Civil War Imminent in Libya as Haftar Bans Ministers
Islam Times - A new cycle of civil war is looming in Libya after General Khalifa Haftar banned all officials of the Government of National Accord (GNA) and Presidential Council led by Fayez al-Sarraj from entering East of Libya, where he holds sway.
The decision came just hours after al-Sarraj appointed a previously pro-Haftar commander of Special Tasks Force, Faraj Eqaiem, as the deputy interior minister of the GNA.
The rift has widened after boycotting members of the Presidential Council, Fathi Al-Mijibri, Ali Al-Gotrani and Omar Al-Aswad all backed up Haftar’s decision.
They also called on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, UNSML’s Head Ghassan Salame and the international community to respond to what they described as al-Sarraj’s violations that are threatening the unity of Libya, saying they only support the House of Representatives in Tobruk and the military institution led by Haftar in east Libya.
Haftar, backed by United Arab Emirates, is the controversial chief of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), which now controls key Libyan oil ports.
The UN’s Libya Sanctions Committee report, released mid-June, revealed that the UAE has supplied attack helicopters and other military aircraft to the Libyan forces of renegade General Haftar, in violation of UN-backed international sanctions.
Haftar is also a dominant figure for factions in eastern Libya that have rejected the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), contributing to its failure to expand its power base in the capital, Tripoli, and beyond.
Libya's eastern-based parliament, the House of Representatives (HoR), is a rival of the GNA and allied with Haftar.
The oil-rich North African state descended into a deadly civil war after US-led NATO military intervention followed the 2011 uprising that led to the toppling and killing of longtime dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.
ISIS terrorist group has taken advantage of the prevailing chaos in Libya to establish a presence in the country following a string of defeats in Iraq and Syria. Libya’s disintegration into a cluster of chaotic internal conflicts has also made the country’s vast Mediterranean coast a choice route used by human traffickers moving thousands of disparate African migrants to Europe.
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