Libyans fear showdown as eastern commander eyes capital

Forces from eastern Libya who have swept through the south and taken control of remaining oilfields in recent weeks have now reinforced a base in the center of the country and signaled to the capital Tripoli that it may be next.

The United Nations, stunned by the southern advance, is scrambling to mediate between eastern commander Khalifa Haftar and Tripoli’s internationally-recognized government led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, Western diplomats say.

They fear it may be the last U.N. attempt to unify the rival administrations and end the chaos that followed the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 with free elections.

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