Tripoli and Benghazi, the tug of war between a rebel general, government and militias leads to chaos
Tripoli ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - Representatives of the Libyan government claim that they still have the control of the country in hand, despite repeated attacks by militias on Benghazi and the parliament houses in Tripoli.
From a "safe place" , Parliament Speaker Nuri Abu Sahmain, said that the Assembly is still working. But the police chief, Mukhtar Fernana, last night reported that Parliament has been suspended and will be replaced by a group of 60 people.
Fernana is spokesman for Khalifa Haftar, a former general of the Libyan army, whose troops occupied the parliament yesterday . Accused of trying to carry out a coup, he claims he wants to clear the country of Islamist militias who have "hijacked the government".
Three days ago Haftar troops attacked Islamist militants in Benghazi. Even this morning they targeted an air base in the eastern part of the country.
Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime, Libya has been immersed in political chaos and the same parliament is divided into groups that cater to various militias of former rebels, Islamists and non.
What is unclear, is the support for Haftar among the army ranks and armed groups. He took part in the 2011 revolution against Gaddafi. He was a general in the army in the days of the kingdom of Libya. In 1969 he took part in the coup that brought Gaddafi to power , but his friendship with Colonel ended after the disastrous war with Chad . He was rescued by the United States who offered him political asylum. From the U.S. he began to work for the fall of Gaddafi . In 2011 , at the beginning of the revolution against the colonel, he returned to Benghazi. He attempted to become army chief, but the new government never fully trusted him, believing him to be overly ambitious. Last February he released a video in which he announced an "initiative" to suspend the interim government and the parliament, guilty of again delayed elections that were to be held in February to the end of this year.
In addition to the political chaos, Libya's economy is being crippled. Despite having the largest oil reserves in Africa, last month 's oil production fell to 215 thousand barrels per day, 13% of its capacity .