Army head Haftar returning to Libya on Thursday: spokesman

Army head Haftar returning to Libya on Thursday: spokesman
2 min read
26 April, 2018
News about the health of the Libyan strongman, who critics say wants to establish a new military dictatorship, has raised questions about a successor.
General Haftar arriving in Tobruk [Getty]

Head of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar will return to the country on Thursday, a spokesman for his forces said, after he received urgent medical care in Paris. 

Earlier this month, Haftar collapsed while on an official visit to Amman. He was promptly evacuated to Paris and fell into a coma, with various media later reporting his demise.

Speculation about Haftar's condition led the LNA to hold secret meetings to agree on a successor. Despite this, LNA spokesman Ahmad al-Mismari has repeatedly stated the army commander is in good health.

Haftar, who is 75 years old, has long been viewed as a contender for national power. 

Mismari added on Wednesday that Haftar would take part in celebrations marking the anniversary of his "Karama" (Dignity) campaign, which the general launched to drive militant groups out of Benghazi.
 

Haftar declared victory over the militants in July 2017, but the city has continued to be marked by sporadic violence.

Libya has been mired in conflict since a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled and killed the longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The country is currently divided between a UN-backed government in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, and a rival administration backed by Haftar in the east.

Haftar is accused by his rivals of wanting to establish a new military dictatorship in Libya.

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