Critics say policy of appeasement towards strongman has left country at risk of military rule

After more than half a century in and around Libyan politics, and at the age of 75, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar stands poised at the gates of Tripoli as close to imposing a form of military rule across the country than at any time in his mercurial and often violent career.

It may yet be that his grandly titled Libyan National Army – a misnomer for a band of ideologically incoherent group of militias – will discover that it has overstretched itself, and his advance will be repelled. A similar, less planned bid by Haftar to seize power in 2014 saw him only partially succeed by capturing control in Benghazi, the main town in the east of the country.

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Read More Haftar’s advance leaves UN’s hopes for Libya settlement in tatters

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