Jalil threatens to 'force' Libya unity
Tripoli - Libyan leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil on Wednesday said he would defend national unity "with force" if necessary, after tribal leaders and a political faction declared autonomy for an eastern region.
"We are not prepared to divide Libya," Abdel Jalil said as he called on leaders in the eastern Cyrenaica region to engage in dialogue and warned them against remnants of the regime of slain leader Muammar Gaddafi in their ranks.
"They should know that there are infiltrators and remnants of Gaddafi's regime trying to exploit them now and we are ready to deter them, even with force," he said in televised remarks during a conference in Misrata to draft a national charter.
A faction of tribal and political leaders in the oil-reach east of the country is trying to carve out a semi-autonomous territory and has called for a federal system of governance.