Libya conflict could 'plunge region into chaos': UN envoy

UN envoy warns of 'growing transnational terror threat' from Libya conflict
2 min read
04 September, 2019
The United Nations' special envoy for Libya has urged key states to push for a political solution to Libya's conflict or risk further destabilisation in the region.

The UN envoy to Libya says he has launched "an intensive campaign" for an international conference to deliver a message that the conflict must end.

The move on Wednesday comes five months after a rogue general Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to take the country's capital Tripoli.

Ghassan Salame warned the Security Council that unless key regional and international countries recognise that only a political solution can ensure Libya's stability, "the conflict will continue."

Without an immediate end to the conflict, he said, "we are faced with two highly unpalatable scenarios" - a protracted low intensity conflict with more destruction "and a growing transnational terrorist threat" or "a doubling down of military support to one side or the other by their external patrons" that will sharply escalate fighting and "assuredly plunge the entire region into chaos.

Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive on April 4 to seize Tripoli from the country's UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA). 

The two sides have since been embroiled in a stalemate on the capital's southern outskirts.

Fighting over the last four months has killed 1,093 people and wounded 5,752, according to the World Health Organization. 

Some 120,000 have been displaced over the same period.

Libya has been mired in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.