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Escalating violence in Libya will ‘tear country apart,’ Germany warns: report

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas waits for the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on June 28, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL

The escalating conflict in Libya threatens to do irreparable damage, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday, according to news website.

Maas, speaking at a UN Security Council meeting chaired by Germany, criticized the deteriorating situation in the North African country and urged the international community to act.

“The situation in Libya is not getting better. On the contrary the escalation of the past weeks and months threatens to tear the country apart for good. Not even a global pandemic has been able to stop this development,” Maas said.

“While the whole world closed its borders, ships, planes and trucks with weapons and mercenaries arrived in Libyan cities. The people of Libya are suffering most of all. The risk of the conflict spreading in the region is also increasing,” he added.

Maas said six months had passed since the Berlin Conference on Libya.

The summit of world powers in January sought to build on a tentative truce in Libya and find a path to peace after years of instability.

In the months since, violence has increased and the principal point of progress, a recommitment to Libya’s long-flouted arms embargo, lies in tatters.

The country is now more awash with arms and foreign fighters than before.

After the intervention in Libya by Turkey, the country’s Government of National Accord (GNA) ended a year-long offensive on the capital, Tripoli, by Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar.

GNA forces – reinforced by thousands of fighters supplied by Turkey and Ankara’s air power – faced down the LNA in the coastal town of Sirte and the resource-rich oil crescent beyond.

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