PM’s trip to eastern Libya delayed after security row

PM’s trip to eastern Libya delayed after security row
Libya's Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah . (Supplied)
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Updated 27 April 2021

PM’s trip to eastern Libya delayed after security row

PM’s trip to eastern Libya delayed after security row
  • Dbeibah was selected earlier this year through a UN-backed inter-Libyan dialogue to lead the country to national elections in December 2021

BENGHAZI: The Libyan government postponed the prime minister’s first visit to the east of the country late on Sunday, hours after an advance security team was turned back from Benghazi airport, a source said.
A Cabinet meeting scheduled for Monday in the city would also have marked national unity government leader Abdul Hamid Dbeibah’s first trip to Libya’s east, a bastion of military strongman Khalifa Haftar.
But on Sunday a spokesperson said preparations were underway to arrange another date, without giving a reason for the postponement.
The announcement came several hours after a government security team was turned away by local authorities at Benghazi airport, forcing them to get back on their plane and return to the capital Tripoli, a local security source said.
Dbeibah was selected earlier this year through a UN-backed inter-Libyan dialogue to lead the country to national elections in December 2021.
Libya has been mired in chaos since its leader Muammar Qaddafi was deposed and killed in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.
Dbeibah’s government replaced two rival administrations based in Tripoli and the country’s east, the latter loyal to Haftar, whose forces tried but failed to seize the capital in a 2019-20 offensive.
The rival authorities have given their backing to the new administration, adding to tentative hopes that Libya can exit a decade of crisis.
Dbeibah had previously announced his intention to hold Cabinet meetings in different cities across the country, most notably in Benghazi, Libya’s second city and one of Haftar’s strongholds.