Tuesday, 7/7/2020 | 9:58 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Libya: UN-Backed Gov’t Retakes Key City South of Tripoli

TRIPOLI� The strategic city of Gharyan located to the south of the capital of Libya, Tripoli, has been retaken by the forces of United Nations (U.N.)-backed government of the National Accord (GNA), after it fell to the Libya National Army's (LNA) forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar, witnesses said Wednesday.

Gharyan was the main base for the LNA, as the city is where supplies arrived from the east for the political and military force under the leadership of Haftar who has been fighting to take control of Tripoli, currently held by the GNA.

According to witnesses, GNA forces loyal to Prime Minister Fayez Al-Serra seized the main operation rooms, vehicles, and properties of the LNA.

The LNA commander has been trying to incite a revolt in Tripoli amid signs of popular agitation against the Tripoli-based GNA. The fight for Tripoli has killed at least 510 people, forced 75,000 out of their homes and trapped thousands of migrants in detention centers.

From 2014 and on, Libya has had two political power centers, the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli, that is having a hard time governing the capital city and some western areas, and another government in Tobruk, an eastern city which has remained under Haftar's control.

The North-African nation has major oil reserves. It had been under foreign rule for centuries and gained independence in 1951. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi seized power in 1969 and ruled the country for four decades until he was toppled in 2011 by Western military intervention.

The country has since been in chaos with political forces unable to stabilize it. It also transformed in a key point of departure for migrants heading for Europe, and a source of international concern over the rise of Islamists groups