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EU Urges Libya’s Haftar to End Offensive
Members of Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army take part in a military parade in Benghazi in May 2018. (Abdullah Doma/AFP/Getty Images)

EU Urges Libya’s Haftar to End Offensive

The European Union has called on troops loyal to renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar to end their offensive on the capital Tripoli, seat of the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, recognized by most of the world as Libya’s leader. Haftar, whose stronghold has been the eastern city of Benghazi, unleashed his Libyan National Army on the oil-rich south earlier in the year before sending them north to Tripoli about a week ago. He was one of the army officers who installed Muammar Gaddafi as dictator 50 years ago, and helped topple Gaddafi in 2011. Since then, he has refused to recognize Serraj or a UN-brokered power-sharing deal. Government troops have stalled Haftar’s advance into Tripoli, where at least 56 civilians have been reported killed, with thousands fleeing their homes. In a statement, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said: “The military attack launched by the LNA on Tripoli and the subsequent escalation in and around the capital are endangering civilians, including migrants and refugees, and disrupting the UN-led political process, with the risk of serious consequences for Libya and the wider region….”

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