Libya Rival Govt. Head Hands in Resignation after Street Protests

Elias Hubbard
September 15, 2020

A spokesman for interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said the resignation was submitted to Parliament speaker Aguilah Saleh, whose spokesman indicated it would be debated by MPs at a future session.

The UN's Libya mission "expresse [d] grave concern" over reports that a civilian was killed.

"The government of Libya has submitted a letter of resignation to the speaker of the parliament".

The fire destroyed the main entrance to the building in Libya's second city of Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 revolution that toppled and killed longtime autocrat Moammar Gadhafi.

The casualties were the result of "the reported excessive use of force by eastern authorities against peaceful demonstrators", UNSMIL said in a statement. The internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) now holds the city. The protests have led to a power struggle within the UN-supported government.

UNSMIL said the protests across Libya were "motivated by deep-seated frustrations about sustained poor living conditions, shortages of electricity and water, rampant corruption, misgovernance, and a lack of service provision throughout the country".

The UN mission said the protests underscore "the urgent need to lift the oil blockade" and the return to a "full and inclusive" political process to end Libya's years long conflict.

A restoration of oil exports could come by next weekend, a person with knowledge of the situation said on Sunday, asking not to be identified because they're not authorized to speak to media.

Protests, which are rare in areas under the control of Haftar, also erupted in the eastern town of Al-Marj and police opened fire after demonstrators forced their way into the police station.

Popular protests against the United Nations -backed Government of National Accord in the capital of Tripoli reportedly left several people wounded earlier this month after forces there fired on crowds.

Libya has been effectively split between rival eastern and western governments since 2015. On Sunday, protesters set fire to the government's headquarters, an Interior Ministry source in the eastern government told Agence France-Presse.

The building was constructed after the LNA took control of Benghazi in 2017 following a campaign that left parts of the port city in ruins.

Since January, the country's economic crisis has worsened after Haftar's LNA imposed a blockade on Libya's oil facilities.

Gen Haftar's forces launched an offensive to seize Tripoli in April 2019 but military support from Turkey helped government forces drive Gen Haftar's Russian-backed troops back from the frontlines earlier this year.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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