France calls for urgent unity government in Libya

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News
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France said on Tuesday it was urgent for Libyan factions to set up a new UN-backed national unity cabinet to end factional anarchy and help stop any expansion of Daesh militants in the North African country.

Libya is caught in conflict between rival factions and their armed brigades, one controlling the capital Tripoli in the west and the other — the internationally recognised government — displaced to the east of the country.

The UN deal aims to bring the sides together but the envisaged joint cabinet has been unable to set up in Tripoli and start work because of factional resistance on the ground.

Tuesday’s appeal by French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault came a day after Libya’s displaced eastern government accused its rival in Tripoli of closing down the capital’s air space to foil any establishment of a unity administration.

Daesh militants have expanded in Libya’s security vacuum, taking advantage of fighting between the factions to seize the central city of Sirte, attract foreign recruits and attack oil sites.

“There is an urgency for this government to be set up,” Ayrault told a news conference during a visit to Algiers. “I think there is no other solution than a political one. Violence creates a state of chaos and helps Daesh to expand.”

Led by Fayez Seraj, Libya’s eastern government has faced resistance both in the east, where its parliament has declined to vote in favour of the unity deal, and in Tripoli, where the premier of the self-declared government rejects the UN plan.

Western nations are keen for unity authorities to be established quickly so they can offer Libya more aid in battling Daesh there, and help stabilise Libya to curb a flow of illegal migrants across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

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