Monday, 11 December 2017 01:34 GMT
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Libya chaos spreads as rival govts assemblies emerge

(MENAFN - Arab News) BENGHAZI: The Libyan Parliament that was replaced in an election in June reconvened on Monday and chose an Islamist-backed deputy as prime minister leaving the chaotic country with two rival leaders and assemblies each backed by armed factions.

The election was meant draw a line under another incidence of competing prime ministers in May and allow nation building to being to try to quell three years of spreading violence since veteran ruler Muammar Qaddafi was ousted.

But the old General National Congress (GNC) where Islamists had a strong voice has refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of its successor assembly the House of Representatives which is dominated by liberals and federalists.

The GNC reconvened after armed factions from the western city of Misrata forced a rival faction from Zintan out of Tripoli's main airport on Saturday after a month of fighting that has come to symbolize the country's deep divisions.

The Zintanis and Misratis joined forces in 2011 to topple Qaddafi but have now turned their guns on each other to monopolize power and exploit Libya's oil resources.

The Misrata-led brigade backed by an Islamist militia called Operation Dawn had called on the GNC to resume work. Many in Misrata feel the new parliament does not represent the majority. The Zintan faction opposed the old assembly.

The GNC which met in the capital Tripoli elected Omar Al-Hasi as its new leader spokesman Omar Hmeidan said.

Hasi had tried to become prime minister in April with the backing Islamists and independents in the old parliament.

The House of Representatives meets in the eastern town of Tobruk far from the continuing clashes in Tripoli and Benghazi.

Libya earlier appealed to the international community to help protect its oilfields airports and other state assets as it is too weak to stop armed groups.

'There are forms of international intervention (possible) particularly since Libya is unable to protect its institutions its airports and natural resources especially the oilfields' Ambassador Mohamed Jibril said on the sidelines of a meeting of Libya's neighbors in Cairo.


Libya chaos spreads as rival govts assemblies emerge

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