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Haftar's militia reopens coastal road connecting Libya's east, west

Fighters from the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) stand guard on June 20, 2021, in the town of Buwairat al-Hassoun, during a ceremony to mark the reopening of 300-kilometre road between the cities of Misrata and Sirte. - Libya's unity government today reopened the coastal highway linking the country's east and west, that was cut off in 2019 as eastern-based military strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to seize the capital Tripoli. It connects the war-torn North African country's border with Tunisia to its frontier with Egypt. (Photo by Mahmud TURKIA / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP via Getty Images)
Fighters from the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) stand guard on June 20, 2021, in the town of Buwairat al-Hassoun, during a ceremony to mark the reopening of 300-kilometre road between the cities of Misrata and Sirte [MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP via Getty Images]

Forces aligned with renegade general Khalifa Haftar have reopened the coastal road connecting Libya's east and west, a Libyan military spokesman said on Tuesday, Anadolu Agency reported.

"This morning, a delegation from Haftar's militia came to us along with representatives of the United Nations to inform us of the opening of the road from their side," Al-Hadi Darah, a spokesman for the Sirte-Jafra Liberation Operations Command, told Anadolu Agency.

He said the coastal road is now open from both sides. "We confirm that the road is fully secured by us, but we do not guarantee that the other side [Haftar's militia] will continue to keep it open."

The coastal road connecting Misrata with Sirte is important for trade and has been closed since Haftar's militia launched a failed attack in 2019 to take control of the capital Tripoli, where the government is seated.

READ: Libya to reopen coastal road connecting east, west

Libya's Presidency Council announced Sunday that the "5+5" joint military committee was coordinating between the two parties to the conflict to fully reopen the coastal road.

In February, a UN-led Libya forum voted on an interim authority in Libya, choosing Mohammed al-Menfi as the head of a three-member Presidency Council and Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh as prime minister.

Libyans hope the new unity government will end years of civil war that have engulfed the country since the ouster and killing of strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011.

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