Share

Libya's eastern government says it won't rule by force

Share

PARIS (AP) — The government in eastern Libya allied with forces attacking the capital does not want to rule the country by force, its foreign minister said Thursday.

The Benghazi-based government is allied with Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter’s self-styled Libyan National Army, which controls most of eastern and southern Libya and launched an offensive in Tripoli, in the west, last month. Hifter’s forces are battling militias loosely allied with a weak, U.N.-recognized government there.

“We want to put an end to the crisis, the war and divisions,” Abdulhadi Lahweej told The Associated Press in Paris, where he was meeting with members of parliament, officials at the foreign and defense ministries, and business representatives.

“Our goal is not to rule or to establish a military government. We want a civil state based on institutions and human rights. We want a government that the Libyan people choose and we will approve of whatever the people choose,” he said.

Hifter’s opponents view him as an aspiring strongman in the mold of Moammar Gadhafi, whose overthrow in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising plunged the country into chaos.

Trending:
Photo: Here's the Creepy Ghislaine Maxwell Moment Court Illustrator Caught - It Will Haunt You

Fayez Sarraj, the head of the Tripoli-based government, was also in Paris this week, where he met with President Emmanuel Macron as part of a swing through European capitals aimed at building support for his embattled government.

In an interview with France 24, Sarraj said Hifter’s offensive was a “coup” that should be condemned internationally as “an attempt to take power by weapons, by force.”

He added, however, that he he was prepared to resume a U.N.-brokered peace process aimed at unifying the country. He also claimed to have reduced the number of armed groups in Tripoli from 115 to no more than five, all of which he said were integrated into the security forces.

Libya has been split between rival authorities in east and west since 2014, with each side backed by various militias. Hifter’s forces have battled Islamic extremists and other rival factions across eastern Libya, and recently made inroads in the south.

He presents himself as a strong hand that can restore stability after years of chaos, which have transformed Libya into a haven for armed groups and a major conduit for migrants bound for Europe.

“In clear and simple words, we do not want to rule the Libyan people,” Lahweej said. “We only want to bring back the state. We want to bring security and stability. We want to control borders. We want Libya not to be a place for terrorists or a hub for migration and human trafficking.”

___

Associated Press writers Noha ElHennawy and Joseph Krauss in Cairo contributed.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation

The Western Journal is pleased to bring back comments to our articles! Due to threatened de-monetization by Big Tech, we had temporarily removed comments, but we have now implemented a solution to bring back the conversation that Big Tech doesn't want you to have. If you have any problems using the new commenting platform, please contact customer support at commenting-help@insticator.com. Welcome back!