News / Middle East

Libya’s Factions Ramp Up Battle for Control

FILE - Libyan ex-General Khalifa Haftar addresses a press conference in Benghazi, Libya, May 17, 2014.
FILE - Libyan ex-General Khalifa Haftar addresses a press conference in Benghazi, Libya, May 17, 2014.
Elizabeth Arrott
— Libya's electoral commission has announced that it will hold national parliamentary elections on June 25.

The announcement comes as days of clashes between government forces and those loyal to a rogue general renewed fears of a descent into civil war.  

General Khalifa Haftar touts himself as a nationalist who is waging a war to save Libya from Islamic extremists.  Fighting between his forces and their rivals has killed at least 70 people since Friday.

Forces loyal to Haftar, which overran parliament Sunday, vow to press their fight against what they call an illegitimate government, its Islamist allies as well as regional and al-Qaida-affiliated militias.
 
Colonel Wanis Boukhamada, who offered the support of his elite forces to Haftar’s side Monday, issued a plea to what he called “authentic revolutionaries” for more help.
 
Boukhamada said his special forces will join in the battle against current authorities until “terrorism” is stamped out.

Fighting between Haftar forces and their rivals in the capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi has left at least 70 people dead since Friday.
 
Military forces who remain loyal to Libya’s current government pledged to fight back, and asked for help from Islamist allies in order to support what they call the legitimate order.    
 
Chief of Staff General Abdel Salam al Obeidi urged that power be transferred in a legal and peaceful way, echoing calls for new elections.
 
Most of Libya’s many political and militia forces stake their claim to legitimacy on the uprising that forced longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi from power in 2011.  No single force or coalition has been able to exert effective central control since.
 
The unrest has prompted the U.S. military to increase troops and aircraft stationed in southern Italy in case U.S. personnel in Libya need to be evacuated.  Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other states have closed their diplomatic missions in Libya in recent days.  
 
In an interview with al-Sharq al-Aswat newspaper, Haftar said he is trying to rid Libya of the Muslim Brotherhood, and accused members of the Islamist group in Egypt of fueling unrest in Libya.
 
Egyptian police near the Libyan border say they have received orders to close the frontier until stability has been restored.
 
Scores of Egyptian migrant workers have been kidnapped and held for ransom in eastern Libya in recent weeks.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
May 20, 2014 11:05 PM
General Khalifa Haftar -- a new but logical Gaddafi who may eventually rule Arab North Africa as an eventually powerful Empire, no matter what the Persian Gulf oil monarchies, Nato including the USA, Israel, and Black African nations want and prefer? Probably. Once the oil fields are under his control and producing to capacity, cash and the military purchasing power will let him become the Libyan Empire's emperor.
When that happens, Persia -- Iran -- will be promoted and supported as the only real power in the region, other than but not necessarily Israel which may align with him, able to contain the yet to be crowned Emperor Haftar.


by: max ajida from: Pretoria ,South Africa
May 20, 2014 6:10 PM
Where're NATO troops? They supported and plotted the murder of Gaddhafi. They lied to the world that He lost his letigemence to rule Libya. Where're you when people are killing one another in Libya?


by: ali baba from: new york
May 20, 2014 12:25 PM
believe it or not.it will be civil war sooner or later


by: meanbill from: USA
May 20, 2014 11:52 AM
This is a totally controlled US and NATO military operation to seize the Libyan government, (the oil and gas), and using general Haftar as their puppet controlled Libyan militia leader, to defeat the divided outmanned and outgunned other Libyan militias. -- (WHY?) -- to seize the government, and force the other militias to name him President, of a EU and NATO controlled Libya? Are the US Navy Seals and UN Special Forces standing by, to seize the oil and gas terminals and depots before the Libyan militias guarding the oil and gas companies attempt to destroy them? --

Russia forced the US and NATO to seize the Libyan oil and gas, because Europe would go into a severe recession if the Russians cut the oil and gas to Europe? -- Crimea was a jewel in the Russian crown -- (BUT?) -- Libya is the whole multi-trillion dollar crown in oil and gas to the EUROPEANS, and to the Saudis that are bankrolling the whole operation.. -- (It's all for the Libyan oil and gas?) -- and will bring more violence, deaths, destruction and war, because of the US, EU, and NATO interference again?

In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
May 20, 2014 10:08 PM
manbill , I suggest to change your medication. ask your doctor about Hardly

In Response

by: Tom from: Canada
May 20, 2014 9:00 PM
you seem to be in hallucination.. we were told that Iraq was invaded for its oil. yet, majority of oil companies operating in iraq belong to Russia, China, turkey . iran has more influnec ein iraq than USA. do some research before making such a comment

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid