The move by warlord Khalifa Haftar to unilaterally declare himself the ruler of Libya is unacceptable, the parliament of Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) said Tuesday. 

Following Haftar’s decision, a parliament session was organized under House of Representatives Speaker Hamouda Sayala.

“We reject toying with our country’s future like this. We invite all our citizens to unite in preventing our country from falling into a dictator’s hands once more and to protect our unity,” said a written statement after the meeting.

The statement emphasized that parliament will support all peaceful political initiatives aimed at safeguarding the country’s unity.

It also called on countries who support Haftar to look out for the Libyan peoples’ interests while demanding that the international community take action against Haftar’s crimes.

In a video message Monday, Haftar unilaterally declared himself the ruler of Libya.

Pointing to street demonstrations in areas under his control, he claimed he “accepted the mandate of the Libyan people” to govern the country.

He said the Skhirat agreement signed in 2015 by the warring sides in Libya under the auspices of the UN is “a thing of the past”.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya, supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), which is based in the east, launched an offensive to take Tripoli last April which led to chaos and bloodshed but stalled on the outskirts of the city.

*Writing by Firdevs Bulut

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