Trump praises Haftar on phone, people angry

Many thousands of Libyans have taken to streets in protest as the US President Donald Trump praised General Khalifa Haftar as his forces are trying to wrestle the capital from the governmental forces. It was on April 4, that Haftar and his forces had launched a great attack on the internationally recognised government of Libya which is headquartered in Tripoli.

In an official statement made by the White House, it was said that President Trump had spoken to Haftar for discussing the ongoing counterterrorism efforts and achieving peace and stability in Libya. Trump had also recognised Haftar’s fight against terrorism and also safeguarding the oil resources of Libya. The two leaders had also held a discussion on a common vision for the transition of Libya into a democratic political system. The delay in announcing the phone call by the White House is largely unexplained.

Trump’s praise of Haftar has seen a dramatic change in the US foreign policy on Libya as earlier in the month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had asked for an immediate stoppage on the Haftar offensive on the Libyan capital. The news of the phone call has sent a wave of anger in the public which has taken to streets for President Trump’s support of the offensive launched by Haftar. People are calling on the international community to ask Haftar to stop his offensive on the capital.

The Friday protests were joined by over 2000 people in the Martyrs’ Square of Tripoli for protesting the push on the capital by the Libyan National Army. LNA had launched the offensive in order to cleanse the western part of the country of all the remaining terrorist groups. Many international experts have said that the offensive has the potential to give shape to a full-blown civil war in the country again. The country has been pushed into deep chaos ever since the forces backed by NATO toppled the longtime ruler named Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The fighting which has continued in the city has already left around 213 people killed and over 1000 people have been wounded so far. UN states that more than 25000 people have been displaced.

Haftar runs a rival administration in the eastern parts of Libya which completely refuses to recognise the UN-backed government of National Accord.

 

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