Libya unity govt slams creation of rival 'national guard'

2017-02-12 20:26


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - Libya's UN-backed unity government on Sunday slammed the creation by armed groups of a national guard rival to its own presidential guard in the capital Tripoli.

The Government of National Accord said it considered the creation of the "Libyan National Guard" to be "an attempt to form a parallel body to the Presidential Guard" it has formed.

"These groups and those supporting it are considered to be outlaws," the GNA said in a statement.

"And they will be treated as such by the security and judiciary bodies."

The GNA warned that the formation of a rival guard was an attempt "to lead the capital into bloody armed conflict".

On Thursday, armed groups mostly from the western city of Misrata, announced the creation of the "Libyan National Guard" to continue the fight against the Islamic State jihadist group, as well as to secure state institutions and diplomatic missions.

But they did not say whether or not it would support the GNA, which has struggled to assert its authority across Libya since taking office in the capital last year.

Local sources have said militias in the "Libyan National Guard" include backers of Khalifa Ghweil, leader of a self-proclaimed "Government of National Salvation" which has refused to recognise the GNA.

A GNA source has said most of the groups involved in the "Libyan National Guard" had participated in a seven-month battle to retake the city of Sirte from Isis last year.

Misrata's militias, which control much of western Libya, led the battle to retake the former Isis bastion but say the GNA stopped backing them after Sirte fell in December.

On Friday, the United States said it had noted with "serious concern reports that numerous tactical vehicles from an organisation claiming to be the 'Libyan National Guard' have entered Tripoli".

Libya has been wracked by chaos since the 2011 toppling of dictator Moammer Gaddafi, with rival militias and administrations vying for control of the oil-rich country.

A rival authority based in the country's far east has also refused to recognise the GNA since it started working in Tripoli in March last year.

Read more on:    libya  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.