Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Combatting corruption in Brazil through smart software

Read more

ENCORE!

Making a splash: We dive into David Hockney’s body of work

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Fighting terrorism: What can the UN do?

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Is French health care the best in the world?

Read more

FOCUS

Iraqi snipers battle the IS group in Mosul

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Party polizei: German cops expelled for pre-G20 summit debauchery

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Power play? Emmanuel Macron one-ups his prime minister

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

South African court bars schools from promoting one religion over another

Read more

THE DEBATE

Wannacry more: How vulnerable are we to cyberattacks?

Read more

Libya minister says rival general must accept civil rule

© AFP/File | Marshal Khalifa Haftar heads the self-styled Libyan National Army, which does not recognise the authority of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord

TRIPOLI (AFP) - 

Libya's foreign minister said Tuesday a rival general must accept civilian rule in order to play a role in the country's future.

Field Marshal Khalifa "Haftar must first accept to work under a civilian authority and officially approve the political deal" that gave rise to the power-sharing authority, Mohamed al-Taher Siala told AFP by phone from Algiers.

Haftar, who heads the self-styled Libyan National Army, does not recognise the authority of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord and instead backs a rival parliament based in the country's far east.

That parliament, Libya's sole elected house of representatives, has also refused to endorse the GNA.

Siala spoke a day after making controversial comments about Haftar in Algiers following a regional meeting towards ending conflict in Libya.

"Haftar was named by a parliament elected by the Libyan people. He is the head of the Libyan army. There is no doubt about that," he said Monday, just days after a rare face-to-face meeting between Haftar and GNA head Fayez al-Sarraj in Abu Dhabi.

On Tuesday, Siala said he did not understand why his comments were seen as controversial since he had made the same remarks previously.

Tensions soared in the Libyan capital after Siala's comments on Monday, with tanks and armoured vehicles deployed to protect the GNA's headquarters, witnesses said.

On Tuesday, a powerful GNA-allied militia in Tripoli denounced the minister's remarks in a statement.

It said the idea of the parliament giving Haftar legitimacy "went against the Libya political agreement" inked in December 2015 that gave rise to the unity government.

That UN-brokered deal gave no role to Haftar or his forces, but the strongman has since imposed himself as a key player, especially after seizing the country's key oil terminals in September.

Libya has been wracked by chaos since the 2011 revolt that toppled and killed longtime leader Moamer Kadhafi, with rival militias and authorities vying for control of the oil-rich country.

© 2017 AFP