The UN-backed president of Libya received the leaders of four eastern tribes allied with the country’s eastern government in Tripoli on Wednesday evening.
President Fayez al-Serraj greeted the tribal leaders from Zintan in eastern Libya, despite their allegiance to the breakaway east Libyan government in Tobruk.
“This country needs patience and endurance from all citizens during these difficult times,” said Serraj.
The leaders from the Majabra, Barasa, Obeidat and Qataan tribes had previously welcomed Serraj in Zintan.
Zintan is mostly allied with General Haftar, based in east Libya, and the House of Representatives in Tobruk, although it has expressed sympathies with Tripoli in the past.
The House of Representatives, backed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE, is supported by Haftar’s Libyan National Army and has fought against the UN-backed government in Tripoli in the past.
The Zintan militia was one of the first to rise up against deposed military dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and later captured his son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.
The Revolutionary Military Council of Zintan recently expressed its dissatisfaction over Haftar’s appointment of an ex-Gaddafi general to head the LNA in Gaddafi’s hometown, Sirte.
“The LNA’s aims are radically different from the aims of the 17 February revolution, as shown by its decision to appoint from military and security leaders from members of the previous regime,” the Revolutionary Military Council of Zintan said in a statement.
General Sahban played a key role in the brutal suppression of the 2011 revolution, particularly in the siege of Zintan, which he personally oversaw.