Khalifa Ghwell, a self-declared prime minister, gestures during an interview with Reuters, in Tripoli, Libya, February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny
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In a cluster of luxury residences that survived Tripoli's battles almost unscathed, a self-declared defender of Libya's revolution has set up base as one of three claimants to the country's premiership.Few consider Ghweil a serious contender for power. But in recent weeks the ex-prime minister has bolstered his presence at his base 4 km from the heart of the capital, in an increasingly brazen challenge aimed at undermining a U.N.-backed government that was meant to shepherd Libya toward peace.In the capital, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj's U.N.-endorsed Government of National Accord has drifted half-formed, largely unable to provide services to despairing citizens or exert authority even on its doorstep, as Libya's neighbors and Western states scramble to salvage their plan.Divisions that flared into conflict across Libya in 2014 have not healed.In an example of the bewildering nature of the country's post-revolt politics, he says he is now in contact with the eastern-based government aligned with Haftar, trying to strike a deal over the heads of the GNA that they both oppose.But he says if Haftar tried to seize power in the capital, he would be outgunned.
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