Libya’s Hafter Vows Army Will Take Control of Country

Says his LNA has 'popular mandate' to rule

No stranger to announcing coups d’etat in Libya, Gen. Khalifa Hafter is at it again on Monday, claiming his self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) has a “popular mandate” to rule, and will be taking over power in the country outright.

Since NATO imposed regime change in Libya, Hafter has on several occasions declared governments no longer fit to rule, and presented himself as the natural alternative. Hafter again said that the Government of National Accord (GNA), the LNA’s primary rivals, are a “thing of the past.

It’s not clear that’s really the case in Libya, however, with the GNA making substantial military gains recently and threatening to chase the LNA out of Tripoli. Hafter has substantial international backing, and may be betting that he can muster more aid by just re-declaring this particular coup.

Hafter’s claim of a mandate comes a week after he issued a statement calling on people in his territory to hold demonstrations specifically to underscore that such a mandate existed. Though it’s not clear how big those rallies are, they were apparently enough as far as he was concerned.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.