PM: Libya ‘under control’ after coup claim

Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said the country is “under control” after an army official claimed a coup. (File photo: Reuters)

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan on Friday described the situation in the country as “under control” and that the government in Tripoli was “working as normal” after an ex-army official announced suspension of the government and parliament in a foiled coup attempt.

“The government is working like normal, and the situation in the country is under control,” Zeidan said, confirming “everything is just fine,” in his television address.

Zeidan vowed that his government “will not allow anyone to hijack the revolution” that toppled Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, and that the people, not the army are the sole deciders of the country’s future.

Meanwhile, Al Arabiya News Channel showed on Friday a video of Khalifa Haftar, former head of the land forces, announcing the suspension of parliament and government and presenting a five-point road map for the country.

Al Arabiya News Channel's sources denied initial reports that communications had been cut off in the capital, Tripoli.
The same reports also said that Haftar’s forces claimed control over main roads in Tripoli.

Zeidan said Haftar “can say whatever he wants to say or dream of doing.”

He also said that he gave orders for measures to take place against Haftar.

The Libyan government's security body, meanwhile, denied on Friday that there was a military coup in Libya, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

The Supreme Security Committee (SSC) was created in 2011 to protect the country after the security vacuum created after Qaddafi’s ouster in 2011.

However, Libyan defense minister Abdulah al-Thani was reported by local media as saying Thursday that a military coup led by former army officials and politicians had been foiled.

Thani said the coup was an attempt to oust Libya's government and parliament, which are struggling to create a ruling military council after the country is awash with heavily-armed former rebels and Islamist militants who helped oust the former regime.

Thani said the country’s military chief Nuri Abu Sahmain had issued orders to arrest the men behind the coup.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42
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