Libya mulls unification of army under UN auspices

Source
Xinhuanet
Editor
Li Jiayao
Time
2018-01-10

TRIPOLI, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Head of the Libyan Higher Council of State Abdurrahman Swehli and Minister of Defense Al-Mahdi Al-Barghathi discussed on Tuesday unification of the Libyan army under the auspices of the United Nations.

"The meeting discussed the military situation in the country, and the most significant obstacles and challenges facing the Ministry of Defense and the military establishment, and ways to overcome them," the council's media office said in a statement.

"The minister of defense briefed the Head of the Council on the latest developments of the efforts to unify the military establishment," the statement said, also mentioning the need to involve all Libyan army officers in these efforts without exception.

The statement added that the efforts should be made under the auspices of the United Nations, away from "individual initiatives."

The Egyptian capital Cairo has hosted extensive meetings since October 2017 of a number of Libyan military officers aimed at uniting the Libyan army.

The UN-backed prime minister, Fayez Serraj, and the commander of the eastern-based army, Khalifa Haftar, held meetings in May and June 2017 in the United Arab Emirates and France respectively, to develop a strategy to unify the Libyan army and to integrate the military institution under civilian authority.

Following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime, Libya has been suffering insecurity and political division, with divided authorities in the east and the west, including the army.

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