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Middle East

Libyan Government should be suspended, says military commander

A leading military figure from the 2011 uprising made the announcement on Friday

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said on Friday that the government was safe and security was under control, after a military commander called for armed forces to "rescue" the country and suspend the Government.

Major General Khalifa Haftar was a leading figure in the 2011 uprising against fomer Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi, but it was not clear how much influence he has within the nascent army in a country where diverse armed groups hold sway.

He called for it to be replaced by a presidential committee to govern until new elections are held.

“The national command of the Libyan army is declaring a movement for the new road map,” Haftar said in a statement in which he claimed the armed forces were calling for the country to be “rescued” from its upheaval.

“We will hold meeting with different parties and groups regarding implementing this roadmap,” he said.

But Zeidan confirmed that "Libya is stable," adding: "The army is in its headquarters, and Khalifa Haftar has no authority."

"No military units have moved to touch any institutions," he added.

He said legal proceedings under military law would be taken against Haftar after his statement.

Since the fall and assassination of Gaddafi in October 2011, Libya remains chaotic.

Its fragile government and armed forces unable to impose their authority on competing political factions and the brigades of former rebels who refuse to disarm.