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

Photogallery WHO Expects Ebola Vaccine Surge in 2015

Official says ‘a few hundred thousand doses’ could be ready by June; 2 drugs already in trial More

Video Islamic State Militants Advance Toward Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focused on Holding Ground in Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to the success of their movement, despite confrontations with angry residents, anti-protest groups and police 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid