Hundreds of “yellow vest” protesters on Friday demonstrated in Tripoli against an offensive by military commander Khalifa Haftar on the Libyan capital and accused France of backing him.
Wearing the trademark yellow vests of French anti-government demonstrators, they were among thousands of Libyans who flooded a central Tripoli square to rally in support of the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
“We are surprised by France’s conduct in the face of the Tripoli attack,” read a sign held up by the demonstrators.
“Other countries must stop interfering in Libyan affairs,” Haifa Ferjani, a 23-year-old protester said.
“France says it is a friend but secretly backs those attacking our city and our homes,” added the young woman.
The French embassy in Libya on Friday tweeted - in Arabic - that Paris was “opposed to the attack” on Tripoli and urged all parties to abide by a ceasefire and engage in peace negotiations.
Friday’s rally came days after a smaller protest brought out dozens of “yellow jacket” demonstrators who on Tuesday also demanded the GNA sever ties with countries that “back aggression” on Tripoli.
It also comes a day after UN envoy Ghassan Salame warned of “a widening conflagration” in other parts of the North African country.
More than 200 people have been killed since the violence erupted, and more than 900 wounded, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.
More than 25,000 have been displaced, according to the International Organization for Migration.
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