Panel paints grim picture of continuing disarray in the country, saying Libya’s stability is increasingly linked to regional stability.
United Nations: UN experts say “a political solution in Libya remains out of reach in the near future.”
The panel of experts said in the summary of a report to the Security Council obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press that despite UN efforts to overcome the current stalemate “military dynamics in Libya and conflicting regional agendas show a lack of commitment to a peaceful solution.”
Libya plunged into chaos following a 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi. It is now split between rival governments in the east and the west, each backed by an array of militias.
In December, the United Nations said it was “intensively trying to establish the proper political, legislative and security conditions for elections to be held before the end of 2018.”
But the panel painted a grim picture of continuing disarray in the country, saying Libya’s stability is increasingly linked to regional stability, “notably due to the growing involvement of foreign armed groups from Sudan and Chad.”
It pointed to an attack in Sudan’s western Darfur region by the Sudanese Liberation Army faction led by Minni Minawi in May 2017 before returning to its base across the border in Libya and the “expanded territorial presence of foreign armed groups and their recent involvement in clashes near Tripoli,” Libya’s capital.
“Diversion of public funds, the lack of governance and inability to address Libya’s economy are spurring popular discontent and distrust towards Libya’s political elites,” the panel said.
“Starting in 2014, Libyan armed groups, benefiting from political sponsorship, have participated in the widespread diversion of state funds, notably through fuel smuggling and letters of credit.”
The experts said cells of Daesh extremist group continue to operate in central and southern Libya despite the militant group being routed from its stronghold in Sirte in 2016 by militias loyal to the UN-backed government in Tripoli.
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