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No military solution to conflict in Libya: UN

Bernardino-Leon.jpg
UN envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon holds a press conference ahead of a new round of peace talks on the Libyan conflict on April 15, 2015, in the Morrocan city of Skhirat.

The United Nations envoy to Libya says “there is no military solution” to the conflict in the North African country where rivals fail to “win a war”.

Bernardino Leon said on Tuesday that many of the competing factions in the country were “strong enough to go to war, not strong enough to win a war.”

Leon made the remarks in an address to the US-Islamic World Forum held in Doha, Qatar, adding that a meeting among Libyan parties and political leaders will commence in Algeria on Wednesday.

He noted that he believed 75 percent of political leaders in the war-ravaged country wanted peace.

“I think we will see an opportunity (for peace),” he said, adding that “most groups are now supporting a political solution.”

Abdelkader Messahel, Algeria’s minister for African and Maghreb affairs, also said Wednesday’s peace talks “will be more consequential since new influential Libyan personalities will join.”

On May 23, Leon warned that the growing rise of the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group in Libya would pose a serious security threat to the country unless the conflicting sides reach an agreement to end the chaotic situation in the country.

ISIL Takfiri terrorists parade through the streets of the Libyan coastal city of Sirte on February 18, 2015. (AFP photo)

The Takfiri group, which emerged in Libya by releasing a video in February that showed the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, seized the civilian airport in the northern city of Sirte last month.

Leon had previously said that ISIL had managed to recruit hundreds of militants in Libya over the past months, with the number of Takfiri terrorists exceeding 2,000 in the country.

Libya plunged into chaos following the 2011 uprising against the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi, whose ouster gave rise to a patchwork of heavily-armed militia groups and deep political divisions.

Libya has two rival governments battling for control of the country, with one faction controlling Tripoli, and the other, the country’s internationally-recognized government, governing the cities of Tobruk and Bayda.

Libya’s government and elected parliament relocated to Tobruk after an armed group based in the northwestern city of Misrata seized Tripoli and most government institutions in August 2014.

Several rounds of peace talks brokered by the UN in recent months have failed to deliver any practical results that could lead to the formation of a unity government.

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