Middle East

Pro-Haftar militia blocks premier’s visit to Libya’s Ghat: Parliamentarian

Militia claims there was no prior coordination on PM’s visit

Muhammad Artima   | 12.10.2021
Pro-Haftar militia blocks premier’s visit to Libya’s Ghat: Parliamentarian

TRIPOLI, Libya

Forces loyal to Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar blocked a visit by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh to Libya’s southwest city of Ghat, according to a parliamentarian on Tuesday.

Nasr Youssef, who represents Ghat in the parliament, told Anadolu Agency that pro-Haftar's militia prevented the visit citing lack of "prior coordination."

The lawmaker slammed the militiamen’s actions and urged locals “to take a serious stand to secure the interests of the city."

He said Dbeibeh’s visit was aimed at studying the city’s needs and addressing the challenges facing its residents.

Ghat is controlled by Haftar's forces.

There was no comment on the MP’s claims from the Libyan authorities and the visit was not officially announced.

In February, Libya's rival political groups agreed to form an interim unity government to lead the country to elections in December.

Mohammad Menfi was elected president of the interim setup with Dbeibeh as prime minister. Mossa Al-Koni and Abdullah Hussein Al-Lafi were also voted to the three-man presidency council.

Libyans hope the government will end years of civil war that have engulfed the oil-rich country since the ouster and killing of strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011.

However, warlord Haftar still acts independently of the legitimate government, leads an armed militia that controls vast areas, and calls himself the "Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army", putting him at odds with the presidency council.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar

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