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Protests demand Haftar stop attacks in Libya

Demonstrators carry signs supporting Turkish government, Turks

Protests demand Haftar stop attacks in Libya

By Ali Semerci


Hundreds of Libyans protested Friday against Gen. Khalifa Haftar, who leads forces opposed to the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya.

They gathered in the capital and in Misrata after the call of civil society organizations to protest attacks by Haftar forces and demand protection of the legal government.

Protesters in Tripoli chanted for Egypt, France and the United Arab Emirates to “take their hands of Libya” with posters of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

In Misrata, banners were held with signs that thanked Turkey’s government and the support of Turks. "The capital of the martyrs Misrata will not bow," "Yes to Libya-Turkey cooperation," "Thank you Turkish people" and "We give martyrs, but we do not want military government."

In April, Haftar's forces launched a military campaign to capture Tripoli from the GNA, but have so far failed to progress beyond the city's outskirts.

On Nov. 27, Ankara and Tripoli’s GNA signed two separate agreements, one on military cooperation and another on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Following the military cooperation deal, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he might consider sending troops to Libya if the GNA made such a request.

On Thursday, Erdogan said a motion for military support to Libya will be submitted to parliament Jan. 8 or 9 because Turkey was “invited” by Libya.

Libya's Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha said the GNA will officially demand military aid from Turkey.

Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.

*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

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