African Union – No military solution to Libyan crisis

January 31, 2015 7:08 am

Demonstrators attempt to storm the headquarters of Libyan Prime Minister
Abdullah al-Thinni, demanding the dismantling of his internationally
recognized government due to dissatisfaction with living standards, in
Bayda January 28, 2015. (Reuters)  

Ending conflict in can only be achieved through a political deal,
Libyan and regional leaders said Wednesday after -led
talks.

“The only solution to bring an end to the current crisis
in Libya is a political settlement,” Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed
Dayri said after meeting with the AU’s International Contact Group for
Libya, ahead of a summit Friday of the continent’s leaders in the
54-nation bloc.

The Contact Group, set up by the AU’s Peace and
Security Council, includes regional nations — Algeria, Chad, Egypt,
Niger, Sudan and Tunisia — as well as the Arab League, European Union
and United Nations.

“The situation in Libya cannot be resolved
by force, but only by a political agreement between Libyans themselves,”
said Jacob Enoh Eben, spokesman for AU chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
“The AU is ready to support them in this goal.”

Libya has been
wracked by conflict since the overthrow of dictator Muammar Qaddafi in a
2011 uprising, with rival governments and powerful militias battling
for control of key cities and the country’s vast oil riches.

“We are aware that many African nations have voiced their concerns at
the increasingly deteriorating security situation in Libya,” Dayri told
reporters after the meeting.

“We are aware of the spillover… this situation has represented for Mali, Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Egypt and Chad.”

Several countries, such as Niger and Chad, had been in favor of
military action to target extremist and jihadi groups in Libya, but now
support a political solution, diplomats said.

“A dozen armed
groups control territory in Libya,” U.N. envoy for the Sahel region,
Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, told AFP. “Military intervention cannot make
sense… We need a political consensus.”

A second round of
U.N.-brokered peace talks between Libya’s warring factions ended in
Geneva on Tuesday. “The work done in Geneva is encouraging,” Dayri
added.

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