The United Nations envoy to Libya has urged the country’s rival militias to cease fire and work on a political settlement.
Bernardino Leon’s visit to the eastern city of Tobruk, the seat of the elected parliament, came at a time Islamist-allied militias have cemented their control over the capital, Tripoli, after defeating rivals in battles that forced thousands to flee.
Leon told reporters on Monday after holding talks with lawmakers that the parliament is the “legitimate representative of the Libyan people.” Islamist-allied militias contest this point, having formed their own government and revived an outgoing parliament to take over legislative and executive authorities.France on Tuesday issued a clarion call to the rest of the international community to act in Libya, amid growing fears the country is becoming a major “terrorist hub” on Europe’s doorstep.
But while the major regional players voiced concern about the chaos in Libya playing into the hands of jihadists, they appeared cool on the possibility of an international intervention in the country.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he wanted to “sound the Alarm about the seriousness of the situation in Libya.” “The south is a sort of hub for terrorist groups where they come to re-supply — including with weapons — and re-organise.