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Eritrea for mobile viewing Exclusive – Libya’s Haftar Prepares to ‘Liberate' Tripoli

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Date: Monday, 15 October 2018

Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar. (AFP)
Cairo – Khaled Mahmoud and Sawsan Abou Hussein
Monday, 15 October, 2018 - 09:15
The Libyan National Army (LNA), commanded by Khalifa Haftar, announced on Sunday its readiness to secure any electoral process in regions under its control.

Asharq Al-Awsat also learned that the LNA was making logistic preparations to “liberate” the capital Tripoli, which had seen in recent months clashes between rival militias.

The preparations were almost complete as Haftar inaugurated ten new security and military brigades in the western region.

These developments reveal that he was secretly preparing a military offensive against Tripoli in spite of United Nations and western efforts to reach a political settlement in the country.

Sources close to Haftar told Asharq Al-Awsat that the ten brigades were highly trained and six of them are deployed in the eastern Benghazi region.

They revealed that a meeting was recently held by a number of LNA officers to discuss the situation in Tripoli and the western region as a whole.

They added that LNA units affiliated with the general command “were prepared to carry out any order.”

“No order has yet been given for them to act,” they said.

Haftar had declared in September that “liberating Tripoli was an unavoidable option.”

“One can no longer remain silent over the situation there,” he had said of the clashes that pitted militias, which are mostly affiliated with the Government of National Accord of Fayez al-Sarraj, against each other.

Addressing the elections, the LNA said Sunday that securing the electoral process was part if its national and constitutional duties.

It stressed that it was concerned with protecting the democratic process and peaceful transition of power in Libya.

France and the UN mission in Libya had backed down from their plans to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya in December in wake of the ongoing political and security complications in the country.

Separately, UN special envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame held talks in Cairo on Sunday with Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit.

Informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Egypt will receive in upcoming days a number of Libyan officials in its attempt to achieve rapprochement between rival powers.


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