France urges rival parties in Libya to find political solution to end violence

By David Coffey with RFI
MAY 21, 2022 LISTEN

Paris says all parties in Libya must work together to end the cycle of violence that has divided the country and decimated the economy.

In a statement released by the French Foreign Ministry this week, all sides involved in the unrest that has wreaked havoc on conflict-torn Libya must work together towards finding a political solution and refrain from violence.

This comes as armed clashes broke out in Libya's capital early on Tuesday after the parliament-appointed Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha, tried to take over the government there.

However, he was forced back out by a rival administration that refuses to cede power.

This comes as Bashagha said Wednesday he would seat his government in the central city of Sirte, after he was forced to abort his attempt to bring his cabinet to Tripoli.


Country divided since fall of Kadhafi

Oil-rich Libya has been destroyed by conflict since the NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. Since then it has been split between rival administrations in the east and west, each supported by different militia groups and foreign governments.

Bashagha, a former interior minister, was named prime minister by the country's east-based parliament in February.

But his rival, Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah – based in Tripoli in the country's west – has refused to step down, insisting he will hand over power only to an elected government. 

Both prime ministers blame each other for provoking the latest round of violence, which has raised fears that the country could once again return to civil war after more than a year of tense calm.

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