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Libya’s opposition government declares martial law in the east

AP reports that the Tobruk-based opposition government in Libya declared martial law in areas within its control.

The Tobruk-based opposition government is in conflict with the UN-backed, Tripoli-based national unity government. The eastern government is facing increasing international pressure to fold and recognize the national unity government as the official governing body of Libya.

According to AP, parliament speaker Agila Saleh said that the eastern government’s decision to declare martial law expands the reach of their military, and will allow immediate military response to any movement from the national unity government.

Under martial law, the highest-ranking military officer becomes in charge of local government decision-making. Civil law and civil rights can be heavily impacted, and civilians in violation of martial law can be tried by a military tribunal instead of a regular court.

The Tripoli-based national unity government has not released a statement in response to the declaration.

Libya has faced multiple conflcting governments since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. In recent months, the country has also seen an insurgence of Daesh militants, largely based in the coastal city of Sirte.

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