The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya Ghassan Salame warned on Monday the countries that tend to continue to support the leader of the National Libyan Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar, that Haftar is not democratic and most Libyans do not support his political programme.
“He is not Abraham Lincoln, not the great democrat, but he has the credentials and wants to unite the country,” Salame said in statements to Agence France Press.
Abraham Lincoln was the United States president in the 19th-century, and led the country during the civil war and maintained unity of the US, in addition to abolishing slavery.
“But how will he do that? When we see how we work, we are concerned about the methods he uses because he does not rule in a soft way but with an iron fist in areas under his control,” he added.
Three weeks ago, Haftar-who is supported by Egypt and the UAE-launched an attack against Tripoli, the capital of Libya, and where the internationally recognised government is based, but has so far failed to penetrate the southern defences of the city.
Since 2014, the UAE and Egypt have supplied the LNA with military equipment such as aircrafts and helicopters, helping Haftar to become the top hand in the conflict in Libya for eight years, according to previous UN reports.
The fight in Tripoli has negatively affected the UN-backed efforts to reach a peace deal between rival factions, and threatens to further damage the oil industry in the oil-rich country.
Salame noted that he is “suffering from a very deep split in the UN Security Council which prevented a British draft resolution on a ceasefire.”
Meanwhile, the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Monday that an unknown armed group attacked the Sharara oil field, the largest field in the country, with a rocket-propelled grenade.
On Sunday, forces affiliated to the UN recognised government announced that they restored control over the southern parts of Tripoli after defeating Haftar’s forces.
Violence has erupted in Libya since 2011, when a popular uprising ended with the ousting and death of former President Muammar Gaddafi. Since the ousting of Gaddafi, the country has seen rival governments and parliaments in the west and east.