Libya government suspends peace talks after Tripoli port is hit

Military commander Khalifa Haftar's forces stepped up their attack on the Libyan capital, attacking a strategic port late on Tuesday 18 February.

Iran Press/Africa: The UN-backed government in Libya has suspended UN-brokered military talks in Geneva, following an attack on a strategic port in Tripoli late on Tuesday.

"We announce suspending our participation in the military talks held in Geneva until strict stances are taken towards the aggressor and its violations," the Government of National Accord (GNA) said in a statement. 

"The militias hit Tripoli's port which is considered a lifeline for many of Libya's cities," it added. 

The attack came as senior officers from the army and the main rebel forces were starting their second round of peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland.

Military commander Khalifa Haftar's forces, the largest of a series of militia and rebel groups in Libya, have been vying for control of the country with the internationally-recognized government based in the capital, advancing on Tripoli in recent months. 

Libya has been engaged in civil war since 2011, when former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown. 

Today, Libya is divided between two centers of power — an elected parliament in the country's east, supported by the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, and the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) in the west, headed by Fayez Sarraj.  

The Haftar-led LNA, supported for years by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and a number of Western countries, controls eastern Libya and has in recent months advanced toward the northern part of the country.


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