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Haftar insists on a "peaceful uprising" in Libya

The Libyan marshal has again condemned the political situation amid renewed clashes between armed groups in the west
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PHOTO/FILE  -   Libyan Marshal Khalifa Haftar

During a visit to Brak al-Shati, Libyan Marshal Khalifa Haftar has again called on citizens for a "peaceful uprising" to end what he called "the tragic reality of the country". Haftar praised the Libyan National Army (LNA), recalling its victory over terrorism and its role in "national reconciliation". "We made space for the political leaders to agree to end the political bloc, but they failed," he said.

Haftar said the country had reached "a dead end" and that the people must "take control and move forward in building a civil state based on freedom, justice and equality". He stressed that the army is the only institution that can put an end to the political bloc.

This is not the first time Haftar has made such an appeal. Shortly after the clashes in Tripoli in late August, the military leader urged Libyans in Kufra to "repair the situation before it is too late". "Only the people will save Libya," declared Haftar, who also warned that the LNA would "not stand idly by".

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REUTERS/ESAM OMRAN - Members of the Libyan National Army (LNA)

Later, the marshal again insisted on a "people's uprising and revolution" against "the miserable reality of the country" and the "corrupt and dark" political class during a speech in Ghat.

As General Fawzi Al-Mansoori, commander of the Sabha region, told Al-Ain, Haftar "wants to communicate with all components of Libyan society". Al-Mansoori recalled recent visits to Kufra in the southeast and Ghat in the far southwest. "He is now in Brak, the central gateway to the southwest," he said.

The visit is Haftar's first to the city after the liberation of the region in May 2018. "Brak al-Shati and other areas in the south of the country are one of the strongholds of the national project, whose sacrifices culminated in the historic liberation from terrorist domination," Al-Mansoori noted. In this regard, Haftar announced his forces' willingness to "confront terrorism everywhere", stressing that it is "impossible for the army to coexist with terrorists".

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​PHOTO/REUTERS - Haftar has praised the Libyan National Army, recalling its victory over terrorism and its role in "national reconciliation"
New fighting in the west

Violence has erupted again in western Libya. At least five people, including a 10-year-old girl, have been killed in recent clashes between armed groups. According to AFP, the fighting began on Sunday in the town of Zawiya, 50 kilometres west of Tripoli. 

In addition to those killed, at least 13 other civilians have been wounded, according to the Ministry of Health. The UN mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has condemned the fighting, stressing in particular "the use of heavy artillery in densely populated neighbourhoods".

A source told the news agency that the clashes began after a militia member was killed during a dispute over fuel smuggling, a common occurrence in the region. 

This latest violence comes amid power struggles between Abdul Hamid Dbeibé and Fathi Bashagha, whose militias engaged in clashes in Tripoli in late August that left 32 dead and 159 wounded.