Libya emerges as hot topic at UN General Assembly

Published 26.09.2019 00:10

Libya was one of the most-discussed issues at the ongoing U.N. General Assembly. Since the country has become the power projection stage for several regional and international actors, there was an exchange of accusations. Egypt, which has been acting like a mouthpiece for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), accused other countries of financing militias. Qatar, on the other hand, claimed that the UAE-backed forces in Libya were committing war crimes. Libya faces a series of problems, including migration, a worsening humanitarian situation and internal conflict. The disputes among international actors and the indifference of many involved powers have only deepened the problems.

Attempts to find a solution, with the help of certain international powers, have so far remained futile. On the contrary, the division among the country's rival factions has widened.

Libya has been dragged into an inextricable situation as violence continues unabated, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people in the fighting between General Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the Benghazi-based Libyan National Army (LNA), and the forces loyal to the internationally recognized the government in Tripoli. Fayez al-Sarraj, who has been leading a third government in the country but is allied with Tripoli, blamed Western governments for their inaction.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi claimed that certain militias should be prevented from receiving aid from external actors. "We need to work on unifying all national institutions to save our dear neighbor from the ensuing chaos by militias and prevent the intervention of external actors in Libya's internal affairs," he said without mentioning Haftar and his forces, which are allegedly backed by the UAE.

In response to his statements Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said: "The latest military operations on the capital Tripoli have thwarted the holding of the comprehensive Libyan national conference."

"There is an internationally recognized settlement, but certain countries say they formally participate in international efforts on one hand and then undermine these efforts on another hand by supporting warlords and terrorist militias for their narrow interests against the legitimate government," he said, in an accusation leveled at Haftar's supporters.

Libya has suffered from a chronic lack of security as various actors jockey for power. The powerlessness of the central government has led many people to take up arms against it. State security forces have also failed to protect the government, leaving the country vulnerable to heavy clashes between rival militias trying to gain authority over the government and the country. Peace and political stability seem far off, as none of the rival militias have been strong enough to put an end to the ongoing war.

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