Libya neighbours want stronger truce


Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum told visiting envoys from countries neighbouring Libya he hoped their meeting would strengthen a fragile truce and avert more foreign influence there.

“Libya’s neighbours have the responsibility to facilitate a political solution,” he saidd before the start of a meeting with foreign ministers and other officials from Egypt, Tunisia, Chad, Niger, Sudan and Mali.

Heiko Maas, Germany foreign minister, which hosted a summit on the Libyan crisis on Sunday, was at the meeting.

Eastern Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar launched an assault last year with his Libyan National Army (LNA) to capture Tripoli with backing from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Russian mercenaries and African troops.

The internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) is backed by Turkey, which sent military advisers and trainers to help its armed forces ward off Haftar’s attack.

In Berlin, foreign powers active in Libya agreed to shore up a shaky ceasefire but the meeting was overshadowed by Haftar’s blockade of energy fields.

The conflict’s recent escalation alarmed some of Libya’s neighbours, who fear it may provide more space for armed militant groups to operate across the Sahara and the Sahel region.

“The Sahel is suffering from this crisis. Proliferation of arms in the region has facilitated the spread of terrorism,” said Chad’s Foreign Minister Mahamet Zene Cherif.

Tunisia, between Algeria and Libya, is concerned about a possible influx of refugees. It was not initially invited to the Berlin summit causing anger among Tunisian politicians.

It turned down a late invitation to attend, saying it was not given time to prepare.