Libyan says forces seized ministries
BENGHAZI, Libya — A self-declared prime minister said Thursday that his forces have seized at least three ministries in Libya’s capital, declaring what appeared to be a coup after what he described as a yearlong failure of the current U.N.-backed premier.
Khalifa Ghwell said by phone from Tripoli that his forces control the ministries of defense, labor and the “martyrs and the wounded.” His so-called National Salvation government was formed by the outgoing parliament after a disputed 2014 transfer of power that led to the establishment of rival governments, each backed by an array of militias.
The U.N. helped establish a third government in Tripoli last year under Fayez Serraj, a Western-backed politician, hoping he could unify Libya and lead the fight against Islamic extremists.
A spokesman for Serraj’s government, Ashraf Tulty, dismissed the moves by Ghwell’s forces, saying “they are trying to sow chaos but they have no means to control.”