Africa - 23:08, 25 May 2015 Monday
Libya tribes urge Egypt to arm Tobruk-based army

Libyan tribes have asked Egypt to provide weapons for defence for the Tobruk-based army.

Libya tribes urge Egypt to arm Tobruk-based army

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Libyan tribes have called on Egypt to provide weapons for the army loyal to the Tobruk-based government and press for lifting an arms embargo on the crisis-hit country.

Speaking at the opening of an Egypt-hosted conference of Libyan tribesmen on Monday, tribal chieftain Massoud Omar urged the Egyptian government to arm forces loyal to the Tobruk-based government and "to struggle diplomatically for lifting an arms embargo on it."

He also called on Egyptian authorities to open borders with Libya.

"Egypt is our only savior and Libya's security is part of Egypt's security," he said.

Egypt has hosted the conference, which is scheduled to last until Thursday, with the aim of discussing ways of reaching a peaceful settlement in the crisis-hit county, with which Egypt shares a long, porous border.

Last month, the UN mission in Libya announced that Egypt, which only recognizes the Tobruk-based parliament, would host a meeting of Libyan tribal and military leaders as part of a UN-backed dialogue initiative.

Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since a bloody uprising ended the decades-long rule of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in late 2011.

Since then, the country's stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, each with its own institutions and military capacities.

Vying for legislative authority are the Tobruk-based House of Representatives and an Islamist-led General National Congress that convenes in capital Tripoli.

The two assemblies support two rival governments respectively headquartered in the two cities.