As Libya celebrates six years since the 2011 uprisings on Friday, Libyan politician Abdel Hakim Belhaj said that a government led by military strongman Khalifa Haftar has no chance of success in Libya.
“A military leadership will never take hold of Libya,” Belhaj told Middle East Eye. “Haftar has no chance at ruling this country at all and the coming days will attest to this.”
'Haftar has no chance at ruling this country at all and the coming days will attest to this'
Abdel Hakim Belhaj
Belhaj, who heads the Watan Party, is based in Tripoli where the UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA) has held power since December 2015. But the GNA's authority faces huge challenges.
In the east, the rival Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) is aligned Haftar, a self-described anti-Islamist general who leads the Libyan National Army (LNA).
Khalifa Haftar is heads the Libyan National Army in the east of the country (AFP)
Since the summer of 2014, political power has been split between two rival governments in Tripoli and in Tobruk. Libya is plagued by political divisions with several factions scrambling for power including armed groups in western and southern Libya; and tribes in central and eastern Libya.
“The political divisions in Libya have impacted the situation to the extent that we now have two governments, and two parliaments and two armies,” Belhaj told Middle East Eye.
Tensions have escalated as Haftar’s LNA, which controls eastern Libya, has pushed southwards, clashing with militias from the western city of Misrata, which are loyal to the UN-backed government and led the fight against Islamic State group in Sirte.