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Africa sidelined in Libya talks, UN chief says

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said yesterday that Africa was sidelined from talks on Libya and urged the reverse of it, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We want the Africa representative to attend all the meetings,” Guterres said, apparently ire about the fact that involvement of Africa in the Berlin conference on Libya was minimal.

Guterres’ remarks came in a news conference he gave a day before the official opening of African Union’s 33rd Assembly of African Heads of State and Government.

“There are a number of players, and military equipment and armies in Libya that made peace between Libyans impossible. This is unacceptable, it is a violation UN arms embargo,” he said.

“Critical to [the resolution of] Libyan crisis is to increase international cooperation with African countries. We need international cooperation with UN Security Council,” he urged.

“I still support African Union’s decision to convene inter-Libya reconciliation forum after Brazzaville summit,” he added.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.

The oil-rich country has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, with which renegade Gen. Khalifa Haftar is affiliated, and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), which enjoys UN recognition.

Since early April, forces loyal to Haftar have launched a campaign to capture Tripoli from forces of the GNA.

On situation in the Sahel region, Guterres described the UN sponsored army to fight terrorism in the Sahel region as “peacekeeping where there is no peace to keep.”

He said the multi-national counter-terrorism force deployed in the region “lacks resources and adequate financing.”

UN chief said he advocates a stronger African force in the region to counter terrorism.

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