Libya gov’t declares state of public alert against army’s plans to take over capital

TRIPOLI Libya's UN-backed government on Wednesday declared a state of public alert, hours after the eastern-based army announced plans to move westward to take over the capital Tripoli.

This kind of language does not help achieve consensus, but discourages the Libyan and disgraces all the parties, the government said in a statement, calling plans of the eastern-based army provocative.

With such persistence in adopting this aggressive attitude we issued instructions and declared a state of public alert to all military and security forces to prepare and deter any threats aiming to destabilize any part of our country, the statement added.

The UN-backed government also warned that the military solution to the crisis would only bring destruction and suffering to the people.

Earlier in the day, Ahmad al-Mismari, spokesman of the Libyan army, told a local TV channel that the army was preparing to move westward, particularly Tripoli, and take over the region.

Al-Mismari's announcement comes ahead of a UN-sponsored national conference in Libya, which is expected to gather many Libyan parties to end the political crisis in the country.

Libya is currently politically divided between western and eastern governments, both competing for legitimacy.

The North African country has been struggling to make a democratic transition amid insecurity and chaos since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011.