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Tags: ML | Libya

Libya Speaker: No Deals While Armed Groups 'kidnap' Tripoli

Libya Speaker: No Deals While Armed Groups 'kidnap' Tripoli

Wednesday, 10 April 2019 03:37 PM EDT

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (AP) — Libya's Parliament speaker in the east said Wednesday no peace deal can be reached right now between rival factions in his country because the capital, Tripoli, has been "kidnapped" by armed groups.

Aguila Saleh, speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, told The Associated Press in the Egyptian city of Alexandria that the self-styled Libyan National Army has stepped in to "liberate" Tripoli.

LNA forces, led by Khalifa Hifter, are loyal to the rival government in the east. They launched a major military offensive earlier this month aimed at capturing Tripoli, clashing with rival militias that support the U.N.-backed government there.

The escalation has threatened to plunge the fractured North African nation deeper into chaos and ignite civil war on the scale of the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

"The capital has been kidnapped.... the military (LNA) has stepped in with only one goal, which is to root such groups out of the capital," Saleh said.

He said it would be impossible to hold next week's U.N.-planned peace conference, given the current conditions.

A U.N-supported national conference set for mid-April was to forge a political roadmap that would restore order in Libya, where lawlessness has fed Islamic militancy, human trafficking and instability in the wider region. Moving toward parliamentary and presidential elections was a key goal of conference.

Libya slid into chaos after the NATO-backed uprising that toppled and later killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Elections were held shortly after Gadhafi's demise, but failed to bring stability. In the years since, Libya is split between rival governments in the east and west and has emerged as a major conduit for African migrants hoping to reach Europe.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said, meanwhile, that the escalation in violence in and around Tripoli has resulted in the displacement of more than 5,800 people who have fled their homes.

Associated Press writer Samy Magdy contributed from Cairo.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
Libya's Parliament speaker in the east said Wednesday no peace deal can be reached right now between rival factions in his country because the capital, Tripoli, has been "kidnapped" by armed groups.Aguila Saleh, speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, told The...
ML,Libya
326
2019-37-10
Wednesday, 10 April 2019 03:37 PM
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