AA / Libya
The head of the government of national unity in Libya and Minister of Defense, Abdulhamid Dbeibeh, said on Tuesday that “the national armies protect the capitals of their country, but do not storm them”.
Dbeibeh thus refers to a failed military attack launched by the militia of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar, against the capital, Tripoli (west), on April 4, 2019.
During the celebration of the 81st anniversary of the establishment of the Libyan army, Dbeibeih said in a speech that “the capitals are precious pearls, and the armies were created to protect them, not to storm them, to terrorize them. their people and destroy their property, “the official Libyan channel” Al-Watania “reported.
On June 4, 2020, the Libyan army announced the liberation of Tripoli from the grip of the Haftar militia, following an attack launched by the armed men of the retired general against the Libyan capital, which made deaths and injuries among civilians, as well as extensive damage.
Dbeibeh added that “the role of the army is to protect our land, sea and air borders without pledging allegiance to anyone”, stressing that “the Libyan army was created to preserve peace, and not to utter threats “.
Libya, an oil-rich country, endured years of armed conflict. With the support of Arab and Western countries, the militia of retired General Khalifa Haftar, made up of mercenaries and foreign fighters, contested the internationally recognized former Libyan government for legitimacy and authority over the country.
“The prestigious military institution cannot be affiliated with a person, whatever his function. This army is ours and the soldiers are the Defenders of our Fatherland”, insisted the Libyan Prime Minister.
On Monday, Haftar said his militia did not intend to submit to the current interim authority and would only deal with “an authority directly elected by the people.”
A way out of the crisis has been looming in Libya since the government of national unity and the new Presidential Council took office on March 16, 2021, to lead the country to the legislative and presidential elections scheduled for December 24.
Although Haftar’s militia hailed the election of the interim authority, General Khalifa Haftar continues to operate independently of the legitimate government and heads an armed militia, calling himself “Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan Army”, disregarding the Supreme Army Commander and President of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed Al-Manfi.
* Translated from Arabic by Hajer Cherni
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