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How Khalifa Haftar is Smashing Democracy to Pieces in Libya

Last updated on April 14th, 2019

After the death of Muammar Mohammed Gaddafi in 2011, the future prospects of Libya were expected to be better than it had ever been. However, the presumptions went down in flames, as the military strongman Khalifa Haftar came into existence.

The country is back to conflicts, violence and ceasefires, just days before the national conference was to take place. On April 4, the quest of power and difference in political beliefs between the two sides – the rebels in the east backed by Khalifa Haftar, and the other based in west backed by the government of Fayez al -Sarraj – brought upon an unforeseen situation.

The rebel leader ordered the Libyan National Army (LNA) to move in a “victorious march” on Tripoli, as he intends to oust the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) based there. However, the LNA explains that it aims to restore security, while fighting armed gangs and “terrorism”.

According to the reports, clashes erupted between the eastern forces and the government-backing troops six days ago, forcing thousands of people in and around the capital to leave their houses. While the dispute still continues, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported that at least 4,500 individuals have been displaced. Moreover, several still trapped in their homes, with an estimation of over 500,000 children, are at “immediate threat”.

With every successive day since the clashes begin, the situation has just been soaring. The World Health Organization on Tuesday highlighted that the escalating clashes have resulted in deaths of nearly 47 people, which included nine civilians.

Besides, the three-day national conference that the special representative of the UN secretary-general Ghassan Salamé was preparing for from last 18 months, has also come to halt. With ongoing brawls and the fast-approaching dates of the conference (April 14, 15 and 16), the UN had to postponed the summit.

“We cannot ask people to take part in the conference during gunfire and air strikes,” Salamé said, vowing to hold the event “as soon as possible … on the day when conditions of its success are ensured.”

The United States, European Union, UN and G7 bloc have called for a deadlock and a halt to Haftar’s push.

The declining situations in Libya are gradually giving rise to something that the country and its people would not want to happen. Khalifa Haftar, who was fighting against Gaddafi and his regime, is on the brink of creating similar situations in the country. While the elections are still not in sight and the uprisings are surging, would Libya be able to restore its lost peace?

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