Khalifa Haftar declares himself ruler of Libya with ‘mandate’ from the people

Libyan commander’s move apparently sweeps aside civilian rule in east of country

By MEE staff

In his speech Haftar said that a 2015 deal that produced the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli was null and void (screengrab)

Military commander Khalifa Haftar has declared himself the ruler of Libya with a “popular mandate” from the people.

In a televised speech on Monday night, the leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA) announced that the General Command of the Armed Forces had “accepted the will of the people” to take over management of the country.

The move apparently marginalises an eastern-based civilian parliament that had until now been backing the military commander.

In his speech, Haftar added that a 2015 deal that produced the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), a unity administration based in Tripoli that was formed after years of civil conflict, was null and void.

‘We announce our acceptance of the people’s will and mandate and the end of the Skhirat Agreement’

– Khalifa Haftar

“We announce our acceptance of the people’s will and mandate and the end of the Skhirat Agreement,” he said.

“The political agreement destroyed the country. We will work to create the conditions for building permanent civic institutions.”

Haftar’s forces, politically backed by the eastern parliament – nominally a signatory to the 2015 deal itself – have been staging an assault on the capital Tripoli since April 2019.

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About Cholo Brooks 13151 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.