Tripoli calls for end to east Libya violence

Published July 6th, 2014 - 07:00 GMT

Libya's central government called for an end to fighting in the country's eastern city of Benghazi Sunday, according to Agence France Presse.

On and off clashes between Islamists and renegade general Khalifa Haftar's army over the past two months has left the city in shambles.

"In light of the dramatic situation of civilians of Benghazi living in fear and terror because of unjustifiable fighting, the government calls on all parties to the conflict to leave the city and to immediately stop fighting," Tripoli leadership said in a released statement.

Tripoli has also allegedly "ordered the security take the necessary measures to restore stability [in Benghazi]."

However, the weakness of Libya's central government may undermine any type of government intervention to stop the Benghazi fighting.

At least 100 people have been killed in the clashes thus far, according to the AFP report.

Ex-general Khalifa Haftar, who previously was in exile for decades in the United States, returned to his home country of Libya during the 2011 revolution. In mid-May, the renegade general launched an offensive on Islamist groups in his effort to oust "terrorism" from Libya. Many army units have supported Haftar's offensive, despite Tripoli's opposition to the mission.

In related news from Libya Sunday, AFP reported that armed groups clashed in the capital over control of a western entrance to the city. It is not yet clear if there were any casualties from the fighting, but several cars and buildings were reported as damaged in the western residential district of Regata.

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