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Posted on Monday, 20 April 2015 10:23

Arab countries under pressure to end Libya chaos

By Desmond Kokim

Photo©ReutersPressure is mounting on Arab countries to take the lead in stopping Libya from descending into chaos as terrorist groups continue to gain control of the North African country.

The United States is due to host leaders of the six leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - next month at the White House as it pushes for a lasting solution to the Libyan crisis.

In some cases, you've seen them fan the flames of military conflict, rather than try to reduce them

Libya is divided between two rival governments and numerous militia groups controlling different regions.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has since expanded its operations in Libya, and militants linked to ISIS have claimed responsibility for several attacks on foreigners in Libya this year, including the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in February.

Egyptian security officials estimate that thousands of militants who share ISIS' ideology have moved from the Sinai Peninsula to Libya.

But the response from the League of Arab Nations in Libya has been divided.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been bombing Islamist targets in Libya but Qatar has expressed issues about such operations.

However, the urgency for action in Libya has increased after a video released on Sunday, allegedly made by ISIS, showed the shooting and beheading of about 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya.

"The Ethiopian government condemns the atrocious act," government spokesman Redwan Hussein said in a statement.

The United States also condemned the "brutal mass murder," saying the killing of the men "solely because of their faith lays bare the terrorists' vicious, senseless brutality."

So far only Egypt and the UAE have carried out any significant airstrikes against terrorist groups in Libya.

But United States President Barack Obama said the crisis in Libya could not be ended with "a few drone strikes or a few military operations".

"We're going to have to encourage some of the countries inside of the Gulf who have, I think, influence over the various factions inside of Libya to be more cooperative themselves," Obama told reporters.

"In some cases, you've seen them fan the flames of military conflict, rather than try to reduce them."

Libya's insecurity and disability has allowed human traffickers to thrive, making it the major departure point for migrants attempting the often dangerous journey to Europe.



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