Libya: Beida-based Premier stops Tripoli-Tobruk air traffic

Head of Beida-based government, which is challenging the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), has ordered suspension of all Tripoli-Tobruk flights after a UN plane carrying Libyan lawmakers was refused landing in Tobruk.

Abdullah Thinni who runs Libya’s second administration, not recognized by the international community, has reportedly demanded that all flights from Tripoli to Tobruk; the seat of the country’s legislature, must land at Benghazi Benina airport until further notice.

The decision follows refusal by Tobruk airport authorities to allow a UN aircraft to touch down on Sunday afternoon.

The aircraft was carrying 29 lawmakers who were expected to attend a parliamentary meeting on the outcome of the Drafting Committee’s talks last month in Tunis between delegations from the HoR and the State Council, reports say.

The airplane according to a lawmaker, who was on the plane, was granted all legal passes but was denied landing “on security grounds”.

The parliament’s Speaker Aqialh Saleh lambasted the landing refusal and ordered an investigation into the incident.

The Beida government controls large swathes of eastern Libya and has the support of the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, opposed to the GNA.

The eastern authorities have also closed the Tobruk port to all but local trade. All international shipping movements now have to pass through Benghazi port, which is controlled by the LNA, Libya Herald reports.

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