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UN calls for Libya’s forces to unite against ISIS

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The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution on Monday calling for Libya’s feuding militias and security forces to unite and strengthen national security forces to defend the country from “terrorism.”

The resolution encouraged the recently formed national unity government to finalise interim security arrangements to stabilise the country “as a critical step towards tackling Libya’s political, security, humanitarian, economic and institutional challenges and to combat the threat of terrorism.”

The council also “strongly encouraged” the government of national accord to support reconciliation.

Libya slid into chaos following the 2011 toppling and killing of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Since 2014, the oil-rich country has been torn between two parliaments and governments with each backed by a loose set of militias and tribes.

Vital to unite

The UN-brokered unity government is currently overseeing a large offensive against Libya’s Islamic State affiliate in the extremist group’s stronghold of Sirte. But months after its formation, lawlessness still permeates Libya and the new government’s aim of unifying the country’s rival factions and restoring security remains elusive.

The Security Council resolution extends the mandate of the UN political mission in Libya until December 15 and encourages the UN “to re-establish a permanent presence” in the country as security conditions permit.

It calls on the mission to monitor human rights, support efforts to secure weapons which proliferate in the country, and to support key Libyan institutions and help deliver aid if asked.

France’s UN Ambassador Francois Delattre, the current council president, said the resolution “clearly reaffirms the government of national accord is the sole authority of the Libyan forces.”

“It’s vital that all Libyan forces unite and join efforts in the fight against Daesh in particular, which is our common enemy,” Delattre said, using the Arabic name for the Islamic State extremist group.

He said Security Council members are still negotiating the text of another resolution that would allow the European Union maritime force, charged with seizing migrant-smuggling vessels off Libya’s coast, to help enforce an arms embargo on the North African nation. Delattre expressed hope that it will be adopted soon.

[Source: AP]
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