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Tensions Between Rival Powers in Libya Threaten its Future

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

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Forces loyal to the UN-backed Libyan government in Tripoli (GNA) are making major gains in Sirte against ISIS. However, the rising tension between rival governments might lead the country into further chaos and violence.

The tension between competing powers in Libya threatens to steal the thunder from Libya’s victory against ISIS in Sirte. Disputes between Prime Minister Fayaz Al-Sarraj in the west of Libya, and General Khalifa Haftar in the east have continued to rise. In addition, leaked documents revealed that Western governments, who publicly pledged their support to the GNA, were actually also supporting the General, thus weakening the GNA’s authority.

The US airstrikes that began after Al-Sarraj’s government made a request for support upset the eastern parliament, known as the House of Representatives (HoR), who are backed by Haftar. The HoR says the GNA should have not requested western support without consulting with the HoR first.

On the first day of the airstrikes, Al-Sarraj gave a speech announcing to the country that the US airstrikes are in support of the GNA loyal forces’ fight against ISIS.

“There will be no foreign intervention without the authorization of this government,” said Al-Sarraj. “This decision is an activation of Libya’s role in both Islamic and international alliances to fight terrorism.”

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