Libya warlord Haftar awarded 'political courage' prize by French magazine

Libya warlord Haftar awarded 'political courage' prize by French magazine
A quarterly French magazine has awarded Libya's Khalifa Haftar its "Political Courage Prize", a decision the director attributed to the warlord's "decisive fight" against alleged Islamist terrorism.
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Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar's east-based forces have suffered heavy losses in recent weeks [Getty]
Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar was awarded the "Political Courage Prize" on Friday by French magazine Politique internationale.

The Paris-based quarterly - which focuses on international relations and has featured interviews with world leaders - hands out the prize to reward a "courageous action led by a known actor of the national or international scene", director Patrick Wajsman told AFP.

Recent laureates for the prize include European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, former Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and Jordan's King Abdallah II.

According to Wajsman, Haftar "leads his country in a decisive fight ... against Islamist terrorism and against the Muslim Brotherhood regime based in Tripoli and supported militarily by Turkish President Erdogan".

The Tripoli-based entity Wajsman referred to is the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), which is actively supported by Turkey.

Haftar's east-based forces - which are backed by the UAE, Egypt and Russia - have suffered heavy losses in recent weeks after their 14-month campaign to seize capital Tripoli.

"Whatever the outcome of current events, it is the cause that Haftar embodies that was rewarded," Wajsman told AFP.

"This choice is also dictated by the danger that a lasting Turkish implantation on the southern shore of the Mediterranean would present for Europe."

Also on Friday, the UN said that at least eight mass graves have been discovered, mostly in the town of Tarhuna, a key western town that served as a main stronghold for Haftar’s forces.

Tarhuna was recaptured last week by militias allied with the GNA, their latest in a string of battlefield successes that reversed most of Haftar’s gains.

The discoveries have raised fears about the extent of human rights violations in territories controlled by Haftar’s forces, given the difficulties of documentation in an active war zone.

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