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UN Envoy: 2017 Must Be 'Year of Decisions' in Libya

  • VOA News

FILE - Martin Kobler, head of the U.N. Support Mission in Libya, talks to reporters after speaking at the United Nations in Geneva, Sept. 27, 2016.

The U.N. envoy to Libya says Libyans must make 2017 the "year of decisions and political breakthrough."

Martin Kobler told the Security Council on Wednesday that those decisions should involve forming a strong army and police force, determining the best way to use oil and gas revenues, and amending the political deal that put a Western-backed government back in Tripoli.

Kobler said that Islamic State no longer controlled any Libyan territory but was still a threat, and that the country was still at risk for terrorism.

"The country's borders remain porous," he said. "Terrorists, human and weapons traffickers, and criminal gangs continue to exploit the security vacuum."

Libya has been in political turmoil since longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed in 2011.

The U.N.-backed government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj is in power in Tripoli and is struggling to assert its authority, while a rival administration led by General Khalifa Haftar is in charge in the eastern city of Tobruk and is vying for power.

Haftar refuses to recognize the Tripoli government.

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