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Libyans Denounce Meddlers in their Politics

Thousands demonstrated in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Sunday against what they claim is Turkish interference in the country’s domestic affairs. Turkey has sent mercenaries and weapons to the country’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli. The protesters carried banners bearing pictures and slogans attacking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Libyan ally Fayez al-Sarraj, prime minister of the U.N.-backed government. The country has been divided between two rival governments since 2015 – one in the east, allied with Gen. Khalifa Hafter, and the U.N.-supported government in Tripoli. Hafter’s forces are backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia, while the Tripoli-allied militias are aided by Qatar, Italy and Turkey. Many of these foreign backers are apparently jockeying for influence in order to control Libya’s oil resources, the largest in Africa. Medics handed out face masks at the entrance to the protest site, to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.