Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the militias in eastern Libya, invited Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, Head of the Presidential Council Muhammed Menfi, President of the House of Representatives (HoR) Aguila Saleh, members of the Presidential Council and some HoR members to attend the ceremony of the 7th anniversary of the so-called Operation Dignity (Karama) in Benghazi on May 29.
The invitation was announced in a statement published by the self-declared Libyan National Army (LNA). The military parade will be held at Benina Airport in Benghazi. According to some sources, besides Menfi and Saleh, some ministers of eastern origin are also expected to attend the parade.
Last week, many militia groups affiliated with the LNA moved to Benghazi from different parts of Libya to attend the parade that will take place on Saturday. On May 21, it was reflected on social media that the Tarek Bin Ziyad Group, the 128th Brigade and some other groups from the Fezzan region prepared to move on Benghazi with their large convoys. This mobilization was regarded as a “show of force” and criticized by many local and international experts.
In addition to that, Prime Minister Dbeibeh still faces the legitimacy crisis in the eastern part of the country. Due to security reasons, Dbeibeh canceled the ministerial meeting on April 26, which was planned to hold in Benghazi.
Demonstrators gathered at Benina Airport, where Dbeibeh and ministers would land, protested the Government of National Unity (GNU) by shouting slogans against the PM. With its statement after the protests, Haftar pointed to the security forces accompanying Dbeibeh and expressed his discomfort.
Operation Dignity was launched against so-called Islamists in the eastern cities of Libya in May 2014 by militias affiliated to Haftar. After a short while, Operation Dignity advancing to the country’s western cities, including Misrata and the capital Tripoli, is considered as the beginning of the conflicts in Libya. Many civilians lost their lives in the clashes and many people were displaced, according to reports.