(AA) – Lt. Gen. Khalifa Haftar on Monday was sworn in as army chief before Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament, according to military spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari.
On Feb.24, the Tobruk-based parliament approved a bill regulating the appointment of the country’s army chief. The task of making the appointment was given to Assembly Speaker Aguila Saleh, who then tapped Haftar for the position.
Haftar, who had served in the army under late strongman Muammar Gaddafi, is waging a military offensive against Islamist militias in the eastern city of Benghazi.
Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since a bloody uprising in 2011 ended the decades-long rule of autocratic leader Muammar Gaddafi.
In the more than three years since, the country’s sharp political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, each of which has its own institutions.
Vying for legislative authority are an internationally-recognized parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk, and an Islamist-led parliament, which – although its mandate ended last year – continues to convene in capital Tripoli.