Civil movement

Libyan protest movement says it will step up campaign

TRIPOLI, July 2 (Reuters) – Libyan protesters will continue to demonstrate until all ruling elites leave power, they said on Saturday, after rallies in most major cities on Friday resulted in crowds taking storming the parliament building and burning parts of it.

The protest movement said it would step up its campaign from Sunday, urging protesters to set up tents in city squares and practice civil disobedience until they achieve their goal of overthrowing institutions policies and organize new elections.

Security vehicles surrounded government buildings in the capital after sunset on Saturday and there were no signs of further protests following Friday’s rallies demanding change.

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Demonstrators had held their biggest rally in Tripoli in years, chanting slogans against feuding political elites, as protesters blocked roads in Benghazi and Misrata and torched government buildings in Sebha and Qarabuli.

“We affirm our determination to continue the path of peaceful protest until the last breath to achieve our goals,” the Beltrees youth movement, which mainly focuses on online activism on the conditions, said via social media. of life and was at the origin of the calls to demonstrate in 2020. .

He said he would occupy the streets and squares of the city until all political bodies in power “announce their resignation in public”.

The fact that protests are taking place across the country shows the growing frustration of Libyans on both sides of the main political dividing line between eastern and western factions that had been at war for years.

Scheduled national elections collapsed in December, dragging rival political factions into a stalemate over government control that pushed Libya back into conflict as public services deteriorated.

After failed elections, eastern-based House of Representatives parliament declared Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah’s caretaker government in Tripoli no longer valid and appointed Fathi Bashagha as prime minister .

Dbeibah, however, refused to cede power and another legislative body, the High Council of State (HSC), rejected parliament’s measures. Parliament and HSC leaders held talks in Geneva this week but made no breakthrough.

Friday’s protests were initially called because of chronic power outages.

Dbeibah said late Friday that all Libyan political institutions should step down and hold elections, something most political leaders have said for years without making the necessary compromises for a vote.

Speaker of Parliament Aguila Saleh condemned “acts of sabotage” during protesters’ attack on the parliament building in Tobruk, saying it was punishable by law.

The head of the United Nations mission in Libya, Stephanie Williams, said the protests were a call for the political classes to put aside their differences and hold elections.

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Reporting by Ahmed Elumami, writing by Angus McDowall, editing by Timothy Heritage

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