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General 'suspends' Libyan government

The former commander of Libyan ground forces, Major-General Khalifa Haftar, has announced the "suspension" of the National Conference, the Libyan government and the Constitutional Declaration, it has been reported. In a televised statement, the general claimed that this "is not a military coup"; the time for coups, he insisted, is over. Haftar stressed that his move is not a prelude to military rule, but is "support" for the Libyan people. As seems to be the norm these days, he announced a "roadmap" for the country's future.

According to Al-Arabiya news, communications and the Internet were cut from the Libyan capital Tripoli. Forces loyal to General Haftar are in control of vital ports, including the capital.

Local sources told the news agency that Haftar has a lot of support among military officers, including those who emerged during the revolution against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. He is said to be working on the creation of a Supreme Judicial Council in consultation with political and revolutionary forces in Libya.

In response, the chairman of the preparatory body for national dialogue, Fadeel Al-Amin, told Al-Arabiya that Haftar is speaking on his own behalf. Moreover, Izz Al-Din Aqeel, from the Libyan Republican Coalition, said that there is no unusual behaviour on the streets, nor are there any indications of a military coup, although he was at pains to stress that no one can say for sure what is going on.

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