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Libya’s war will only end ‘when Haftar dies’, says UN-backed government chief

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Libya’s civil war will run on as long as General Khalifa Haftar is alive, a powerful figure in the UN recognised government fighting the renegade commander has said.

Fathi Bashagha, the influential interior minister in the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, said neither side could achieve battlefield victory in the country’s on-going civil war and that a political solution to the crisis was inevitable.

But he added: “There has to be hope. But it is difficult with Haftar because we know that if there is a ceasefire and a dialogue, that would be the end of Haftar. It would be like committing suicide for him.”

Asked if that logically meant the GNA would have to wait for the 77-year old Haftar to die, he said: “Yes. That’s what we are waiting for. We have no other solution.”

Mr Bashagha, a former fighter pilot from the city of Misrata, took over the GNA’s interior ministry in early 2018 with a brief to rein in the melange of autonomous militias who had divided Tripoli into independent fiefdoms.

Speaking last week, Mr Bashagha said the only chance for diplomacy to succeed would be if the US and Britain, which have not taken a side in the war, pressure Gulf states like the UAE to stop backing Haftar.

But he defended Turkey’s intervention in the war, saying European countries had only “themselves to blame” after they ignored appeals from the GNA last year.


Read more via The Telegraph

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