Forces loyal to renegade Libyan General Khalifa Haftar launched new air strikes against three areas dominated by Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi, Al Jazeera reported on Wednesday (June 11th). They also pounded bases of the Islamists in residential areas outside Benghazi.
An Ansar al-Sharia source told Al Jazeera that the group had given Haftar’s forces 72 hours, ending Tuesday, to leave the Benina area of Benghazi, close to the airport.
The fresh clashes came as Libya’s judiciary sorted out the power struggle between the country’s two duelling prime ministers.
The country’s latest political crisis eased on Monday (June 9th) as Libya’s top court ruled the election of interim premier Ahmed Miitig unconstitutional.
The Islamist-backed prime minister accepted the ruling and handed in his resignation. Current Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani is expected to remain in office until the June 25th poll to replace the General National Congress (GNC).
Meanwhile, Omar Abulifa, head of the GNC legislative committee, declared the ruling final and said it could not be contested.
GNC Second Deputy President Saleh Makhzoum held a press conference immediately after the announcement by the Supreme Court of its ruling declaring that congress would comply.
“We want to consolidate the rule of law and institutions in Libya,” he added.
He pointed out that GNC wanted to maintain the government of al-Thani. “We wanted it to be an interim government, but al-Thani refused to form a government and maintained it as a caretaker government,” Makhzoum said, pointing out that there would be future congressional sessions to discuss the matter.
A statement by the caretaker government led by al-Thani, delivered by government spokesman Ahmed Lameen, praised the Libyan judiciary’s integrity, independence, and impartiality to uphold the word of truth and respect the rule of law.
“This will be considered a good gesture on his part towards implementing the rule of law and institutions,” the statement read.
The government also praised the efforts and initiatives of civil society to contribute to solving the crisis.
“Taking Libya from the revolution to the state is the responsibility of everyone and requires the efforts of everyone for the higher interest of the homeland,” the government said, explaining that it would “support all efforts of all parties to achieve this noble goal”.
Source : Magharebia