Libyan PM accuses Qatar of sending weapons to Tripoli

Thinni also repeated accusations against Sudan, saying Khartoum had tried sending a military plane loaded with ammunition to Matiga

Libyan PM accuses Qatar of sending weapons to Tripoli

World Bulletin/News Desk

Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said on Sunday Qatar had sent three military planes loaded with weapons and ammunition to a Tripoli airport controlled by an armed opposition group.

"Unfortunately they (the planes) reached (Tripoli) Matiga airport," he told UAE-based Arab TV channel Sky News. "We will consider... breaking off relations if this interference into Libya's internal affairs continued."

"We confirm that we have official reports that these war planes carried weapons and ammunition," he said.

Thinni also repeated accusations against Sudan, saying Khartoum had tried sending a military plane loaded with ammunition to Matiga, an airport controlled by an armed opposition group which seized the capital Tripoli last month.

The oil producer is divided between a government and elected parliament, which have relocated to the far east since an armed group from the western city of Misrata took over the capital. The Misrata force has helped set up a rival assembly and government, part of a broader anarchy gripping the country three years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.

"The Sudanese brothers are trying to interfere in Libya's affairs," Thinni said.

Sudan has confirmed it had sent a plane to the Libyan airport of Kufra but says it was only carrying equipment for a joint Libyan-Sudanese border force.

Thinni said the Qatari military planes had arrived in Matiga before the Sudanese plane was stopped by Libyan forces in Kufra, a desert town near the Sudanese border.

There was no immediate reaction from Qatar, a Gulf Arab country which has backed the Muslim Brotherhood. Part of the Misrata group controlling Tripoli has links to the movement.

Libya's government is unable to control dozens of former rebel groups who helped topple Gaddafi but now fight each other for power and a share of oil resources. The fluid situation in Tripoli has been worsened by a separate battle between the army and a general who has defected from it, both fighting militant.


Libya's elected parliament earlier dismissed central bank governor Saddek Omar Elkaber because he had failed to attend a session to discuss alleged financial irregularities, said Faraj Hashem, a spokesman for the House of Representatives.

The central bank has tried to stay out of the political struggle but has been facing demands from both parliaments to approve budget payments. The bank is responsible for booking the country's oil revenues in its accounts. These make up Libya's only source of income for its budget.

The dismissal of Elkaber will leave deputy governor Ali al-Hibri in charge of the central bank until a successor is appointed. Elkaber is currently in Algiers for a conference of Arab central bank directors.

Libya's foreign ministry also recalled its ambassador to Jordan because he had agreed to join a rival government in Tripoli, deputy foreign minister Said al-Aswad said. The government had also recalled its ambassador to Turkey, he said without giving a reason.

Analysts say Libya might become a conflict zone for competing regional powers. U.S. officials have said that the United Arab Emirates and Egypt carried out air strikes against Misrata forces in Tripoli before the armed group conquered the capital.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Eylül 2014, 10:49