IS Advances Endanger Libya Talks

IS Advances Endanger Libya Talks
IS Advances Endanger Libya Talks

UN-brokered negotiations aimed at stemming Libya’s collapse into a failed state threatened to fall apart after the country’s government in the east on Tuesday dropped out of the talks in protest over a plan that would mean sharing power with its rivals.

The wrangling over the UN draft plan came as militants from the North African nation’s IS affiliate seized new territory, inching closer to a major city and oil terminals, virtually Libya’s sole source of state revenues, AP reported.

The threat of the IS militants, who already hold two cities and several towns in Libya, is one of the factors fueling the UN’s push to resolve the country’s chronic chaos. European countries fear the extremists will gain a larger bastion just across the Mediterranean.

Libya’s escalated turmoil over the past year has also fueled a sharp increase in migrants using its coast to try to reach European shores, with hundreds dying at sea in the attempt.

Since early last year, Libya has been split. The country currently has two parliaments, one with Islamist backing and the other in the port city of Tobruk. Fighting between forces from both governments has battered the OPEC nation since the 2011 uprising that ended the rule of longtime autocrat Muammar Gaddafi.

The draft power-sharing plan was announced Monday from Morocco, where UN officials have been mediating talks between the two sides.