Alwaght- Libya's internationally recognized government is blaming France for inciting current acts of violence being witnessed in the north African state.
Libya's interior ministry on Thursday accused France of supporting renegade eastern commander General Khalifa Haftar and said it would halt cooperation with Paris. "Any dealings with the French side in bilateral security agreements" will halt, the Tripoli-based interior ministry said in a statement.
Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha directed the head of the international relations and cooperation committee under the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) to cease all its bilateral activities and agreements (including security cooperation) due to France’s “relentless backing” of Haftar, tweeted London-based counter-terrorism expert Emad Badi. France has denied the allegations.
The Benghazi-based Haftar also enjoys the backing of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Italy, the ex-colonial power with extensive oil holdings in Libya, backs the Tripoli government of al-Sarraj and fumed over French reluctance to endorse a recent European Union resolution urging Haftar to halt his advance.
Haftar has ignored international calls for a halt to his advance on Tripoli, which started April 4, while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was visiting Tripoli in a bid to jumpstart a peace process between the rival Libyan camps.
The GNA on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for Haftar for allegedly ordering deadly air strikes against civilian areas.
Six of Haftar's officers were also named in the warrant issued by the military prosecutor general, which was published by the unity government's press office. GNA said it would seek the prosecution of Haftar in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
At least 205 people have been killed in the battle for control of the Libyan capital Tripoli, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.