TRIPOLI

Libya’s High Council of State early Tuesday decried warlord Khalifa Haftar’s move of unilaterally declaring himself the ruler of the country.

“What the war criminal Haftar said was a coup on the democratic path, not new but a continuation of his failed coups and to cover up his repeated defeats,” the council said.

The council called on the UN and its mission in Libya “to assume their political and moral responsibilities toward the people, and rejected the futility of war criminal Haftar, and his disrespect to the unity of Libya and the will of its people.”

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

Drawing to street demonstrations in areas under his control, the warlord 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”.

As part of the agreement signed in Morocco, the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) was formed to manage the transition process in Libya.

However, Haftar and his political allies tried to prevent this agreement from entering into force with his initiatives on the ground.

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.

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