Gunfire used to disperse protests in Libya’s capital Tripoli

FILE PHOTO: REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Armed men fired in the air to disperse several hundred protesters demonstrating over living conditions and against the government in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Sunday, a Reuters witness said.

Protesters marched to the headquarters of the Government of National Accord (GNA) to voice anger over what they called a “slow death” due to collapsing public services, corruption and economic pressures, before heading to central Tripoli’s Martyrs Square, where they were scattered by gunfire.

Meanwhile, the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), lead by Haftar, dismissed a ceasefire announcement by authorities in the capital, Tripoli, as a marketing stunt, saying rival forces were mobilising around front lines in the centre of the country. Its spokesman, Ahmed Mismari, said the LNA was ready to respond to any attempted attack on its positions around the coastal city of Sirte, and Jufra, to the south.

Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), which is internationally recognised but controls only the western part of the country, announced the ceasefire on Friday, a statement from its leadership said.

Ceasfire in Libya announced
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Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo welcomed the ceasefire announced by the two rival governments in Libya as he hosted a meeting with a delegation from the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord on Sunday.

Bartolo met his counterpart from the GNA, Minister Mohamed Taher Siala, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Mateegh.

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Malta welcomes Libya ceasefire

Since 2014, the GNA – which is recognised by the UN and by Malta – has been in conflict with the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, which was elected in 2014 only for this election to be declared invalid by the Libyan Supreme Court. The Tobruk government is backed by the Libyan National Army, led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar.