Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah canceled a visit to northeastern Benghazi slated for Monday after militias loyal to putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar cordoned off Benghazi’s Benina Airport.
Dbeibah was about to depart from Mitiga Airport in the capital Tripoli late Sunday to visit Benghazi, according to Libyan government sources.
He canceled the visit and returned from the airport after learning of the move by Haftar's militias, the sources added.
Dbeibah was expected to hold a Cabinet meeting in Benghazi, visit some institutions and regions and examine the condition of places damaged by the country's civil war.
On Feb. 5, Libya’s rival political groups agreed in U.N.-mediated talks to form an interim unity government to lead the country to elections this December in which Dbeibah was designated as prime minister and to form a new government.
Mohammad Younes Menfi was elected to head the Presidential Council of the interim government. Dbeibah was elected as the prime minister. Mossa al-Koni and Abdullah Hussein al-Lafi were also voted as the other two members of the Presidential Council.
Libyans hope that this will end years of civil war that have engulfed the country since the ouster and killing of strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
The war was exacerbated when Haftar, supported by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia and France, among others, carried out a military onslaught to topple the Tripoli-based internationally recognized government for control of the North African country.
As Haftar is losing his grip on power with a new interim Government of National Unity (GNU) chosen to lead the North African country, the Russian Wagner group has been stepping up its support to the warlord.
Within this aim, Wagner is planning to send 300 Syrian militia to Benghazi toward the end of April.
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