Thousands rally in support of Libya rogue general

2014-05-24 11:14
Libya remains unstable. (AP)

Libya remains unstable. (AP)

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Tripoli - Thousands of demonstrators rallied on Friday in support of a rogue former general whose forces have launched a "dignity" campaign to crush jihadist militias in eastern Libya.

Ex-general Khalifa Haftar has garnered growing support amid frustration at the lawlessness in Libya three years after the overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

"Yes to dignity," read banners carried by demonstrators at Martyrs' Square in Tripoli.

Thousands more pro-Haftar demonstrators gathered outside Tibesti Hotel in the eastern city of Benghazi, a stronghold of the Islamists, and in Baida, further east.

"Yes to the army, yes to the police," their banners read. "No to militias, Libya will not become another Afghanistan."

On Wednesday, Haftar warned that Libya has become a "terrorist hub" and called for the formation of an emergency cabinet and legislative elections to be held.

His forces launched an assault against jihadists on 16 May in the Mediterranean city of Benghazi, birthplace of the 2011 uprising against Gaddafi, in which at least 79 people were reported killed.

That prompted the government to brand him an outlaw and claim he was attempting a coup, but Haftar insists he has no interest in power, just an end to the Islamist-dominated General National Congress, or interim parliament.

Libya's interim authorities have set elections for 25 June.

Read more on:    khalifa haftar  |  libya  |  north africa

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