Libya unity gov't blames rival faction for Tripoli airspace closure

By REUTERS
March 29, 2016 03:56

 
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TRIPOLI- Libya's UN-backed unity government has accused authorities in Tripoli of closing down the capital's airspace to prevent it from traveling from Tunisia to start work.

The unity government's Presidential Council released a statement on Monday after two days of swirling rumors that it was on its way to Libya and several flight stoppages at Tripoli's Mitiga airport.

The Presidential Council said a minority led by the Tripoli-based prime minister was "terrorizing the safe population of Tripoli and obstructing the unity government by closing the airspace." Flights were suspended at Mitiga Airport for periods on both Sunday and Monday. A civil aviation official said this was for "safety and security reasons," though a security source at Mitiga said on Sunday that an armed group had closed the airspace to block a flight intended to bring in the unity government's Prime Minister Fayez Seraj.

The unity government was designed to bridge divisions and end political and security chaos in the North African country, which has had rival pairs of parliaments and governments since 2014.

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