NewsExpress advert FCMB banner
Coup in progress in Libya: Militias sack parliament, Gaddafi’s ex-ally moves to take over

By News Express on 19/05/2014

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 2,554

Militias allied with a former Libyan general staged a brazen attack on Libya’s parliament on Sunday and declared it dissolved, in some of the worst fighting the capital has seen since the 2011 revolution.

By Sunday night, those forces announced that the elected General National Congress was being replaced by an existing constitutional drafting committee. It was far from certain that the order would be observed. But the power grab threatened to send Libya hurtling into a full-blown civil war.

Tripoli residents and journalists reported heavy fighting, including rocket attacks and gunfights, in several central neighborhoods. Dozens of vehicles mounted with antiaircraft guns could be seen speeding toward the center of the capital from a southeastern suburb. Plumes of black smoke rose over the city.

It was unclear whether ex-general Khalifa Haftar commanded sufficient force to prevail in the showdown in Tripoli — the latest chapter in a struggle for power, land and resources that has raged in this oil-rich country since the fall of longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi. The central government has struggled unsuccessfully to rein in scores of militias that emerged from the anti-Gaddafi uprising.

“In Libya, there really isn’t a party on the ground that is more powerful than the other,” said Essam Gheriyani, a prominent businessman.

The Associated Press quoted hospital officials as saying that two people were killed and more than 60 were wounded in the fighting, which occurred two days after Haftar’s forces launched an assault on Islamist militias in the eastern city of Benghazi, leaving 70 dead.

Libyan news media reported that Haftar’s militia members had also kidnapped several national lawmakers Sunday. And rumors circulated that the justice minister had narrowly survived an assassination attempt.

Reached by phone, the justice minister, Salah Merghani, sounded shaken but would not comment on the reports. “My colleagues and I are okay. I can’t really talk. Thank you,” he said.

In an ominous sign, militias from the coastal city of Misrata were en route to Tripoli on Sunday night, said Anwar Salwan, a powerful local leader from the city about 110 miles east of the capital.

Haftar is a mysterious general-turned-opposition-leader who sought exile in the United States in the 1980s and lived for years in Falls Church, Va. He returned to Libya during the 2011 uprising.

Gen. Mokhtar Farnana, speaking for Haftar’s forces, the so-called Libyan National Army, said on Libyan television Sunday that the country’s 60-member constituent assembly, elected this year to draft Libya’s new constitution, would replace parliament, according to the AP. He said Libya’s central government would continue to act on an emergency basis.

“We announce to the world that the country can’t be a breeding ground or an incubator for terrorism,” said Farnana, according to the AP.

But some members of Libya’s government said they would ignore the demands by Haftar’s forces.

“The government condemns the expression of political opinion through the use of armed force,” Merghani said in a statement, the AP reported.

In recent months, Libya’s militias have roughly divided into two groups. One includes Islamist militias in Benghazi, joined by allies from Misrata. The other is a diverse group of more-liberal politicians, Gaddafi-era military officers and tribal militias from Tripoli and the western mountains.

Both sets of forces hold positions, or at least allies, in the central government and in parliament, and have received funding and resources from the state.

On Sunday, two Tripoli militias who form part of the anti-Islamist grouping stormed the parliament’s empty headquarters.

The militias — known as the Qaqa and Sawaiq — pledged allegiance to Haftar. As darkness fell over Libya and the country’s political future, it was also unclear where the former general was.

Haftar is a well-known figure in Libya. He was a military officer who took part in the 1969 coup that brought Gaddafi to power. He later commanded Libyan troops in their war with neighboring Chad, but was taken prisoner by Chadian forces.

In 1988, he broke with Gaddafi and established the Libyan National Army, described as a rebel group based in Chad. Haftar claimed publicly that he had U.S. backing.

Haftar had struggled unsuccessfully to gain control over Libya’s disparate rebel forces during the early months of the 2011 uprising. After Gaddafi’s ouster, he had gradually faded from the Libyan political scene, until recently.

Some Libyans called Haftar’s assault Sunday a military coup.

But other observers said that that description would lend the forces more legitimacy than they deserve.

“It’s silly to say a military coup, because there is no military,” said Jalal el-Gallal, a former member of Libya’s transitional authority.

Massoud Ali Shalash, a Haftar supporter and a local leader in the western mountain town of Zintan, said the militias had given the government a chance to show it could run the country.

“The Congress is a failure and the government is a failure. The purpose of [Haftar’s] actions was to purify the army and the Congress,” he said.

Salwan, the Misrata leader, said the city’s militias had stopped about 60 miles from Tripoli on Sunday night, to try “to understand more about who is fighting with whom before sending in our forces.”

But “Zintan must be stopped,” he added, referring to the Qaqa brigade’s home town.

•Text excerpted from a Washington Post report. Photo shows General Khalifa Haftar.

Source News Express

Posted 19/05/2014 8:49:42 PM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+



REVEALED: 3 natural ways to get stronger erections, last 25minutes on bed, and increase manhood size without using drugs. Also, Natural Prostrate Enlargement Remedy.. Get In HERE...


You may also like...
Trump indicts Obama over Russia’s meddling in U.S....

Fuel scarcity worsens in Kaduna, Benin, others

Nnamdi Kanu's father breaks silence, says: Free my...

Anambra PDP group vows to resist imposition of...

I don’t have houses in Maitama — Magu...

Niger Delta: Military raids suspects, recovers illegal refinery...

Nigeria cannot break up: Buhari

Nigeria to end open drugs market in 2018...

Kidnappers of Sierra Leonean diplomat demand $40m ransom...

Sallah: Movement restricted in North-East

Why I rested Entertainment Express —Mike Awoyinfa •Denies...

Policeman who killed 6 farmers writes IG, defends...


Latest News Neither Coalition nor Third Force, but restructured mind, By Jerome-Mario Utomi Increasing operational efficiency in the Nigerian workplace: ‘African Time’ and other matters, By Omatseye Oti Zuckerberg loses $5b as Facebook shares crash Cult killings rock UNICAL •11 suspected cultists arrested, 2 on the run 2 Arik aircraft grounded shortly before departure Strange disease kills 8 Katsina students CBN injects fresh $210m into Forex Market ‘Apo 6’ Police Officer promoted and decorated AIG Ogun partners MainOne for internet service South African authorities ordered to pay $15m over death of 144 patients Dapchi Girls Abduction: Police deploys 2,000 personnel to 300 public schools in Northeast Kano Govt. trains 3,500 vigilance members, distributes uniforms worth N200m


Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (332,405 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (325,058 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (260,808 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (214,346 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (197,995 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (192,402 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (167,675 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (150,399 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (143,146 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (133,229 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (132,596 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (125,874 views)


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (34) Business & Economy (2,973) Business Verdict (36) Columnists (814) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (455) Features (554) Global Business Monitor (239) International (1,856) Interview (146) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (114) News (33,741) Opinion (896) Pidgin (10) Politics (4,626) Religion (701) Sports (1,457) Stock Watch (28) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update





Football Highlight -- BARCELONA - CHELSEA 3:0


APO Group Partner




REVEALED: 3 natural ways to get stronger erections, last 25minutes on bed, and increase manhood size without using drugs. Also, Natural Prostrate Enlargement Remedy.. Get In HERE...

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera