'Chaos, new migration crisis must be avoided in Libya'

  05 April 2019    Read: 813

Amid a military offensive against the UN-backed government in Libya, chaos and a new migration crisis must be avoided, the European Parliament's president said Friday.

“The European Union must take immediate action,” Antonio Tajani said in a written statement.

“Military action is not the solution to the Libyan crisis,” he said. “A new conflict would only cause further loss of life and enormous damage to the country and its people.”

Tajani warned that new conflict could trigger a new migratory crisis, “with increased flows heading mainly towards Italy and other Mediterranean countries.”

Six people died every day while attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2018, said a UN report this January.

Khalifa Haftar, who commands forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government based in the city of Al-Bayda, on Thursday launched a campaign to capture the capital Tripoli, where the UN-backed unity government is headquartered.

Tajani also said the EU must “speak with a single and authoritative voice, which will contribute to a peaceful and democratic solution, within the framework of the United Nations, as requested on several occasions by the European Parliament.”

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in power.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power: one in the eastern city of Al-Bayda, to which Haftar is linked, and another in Tripoli.

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