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

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

Russia finds surprising the claims by Libyan National Army (LNA) commander, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, that the LNA assumes leadership over the country, and keeps insisting that the crisis can not be solved militarily, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. Benghazi is home to parallel state institutions, as well as the national parliament. The GNA is backed by Turkey.

"We favor continuation of the inclusive intra-Libyan dialogue as part of the political process, there is no military solution to the conflict", the source continued, adding that Moscow maintains contact with all the parties to the Libyan conflict, including Haftar.

Last week the commander said Libyans should choose an institution to govern the country after the end of the Skhirat deal.

Most important was for the military and political decisions reached at a conference in Berlin in January to be implemented by Libyans themselves, with the assistance of the global community, the source said.

Reporting from Tripoli, Al Jazeera's Mahmoud Abdelwahed said that Haftar's forces have intensified their attacks on the outskirts of the capital since the defeats in western Libya.

"Since early morning, we have been hearing sounds of heavy explosions. Today, a woman was killed along with one of her sons, while three of her other children were injured in a random rocket attack launched by Haftar's forces".

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.

Russian Federation believes a political and diplomatic process is the only way to resolve the conflict in Libya, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, after Libya's eastern-based military leader Khalifa Haftar moved to seize control of the country on Monday.

Sarraj's Government of National Accord did not comment on Haftar's announcement, but it will likely reject it. However, its legitimacy has been questioned by the House of Representatives, a competing administration based in Tobruk in Libya's northeast.

"He no longer seeks to hide his contempt for a political solution and democracy in Libya".



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