“Vacuum in Libya is being exploited by the Islamic State”

The political and security vacuum in Libya is being exploited by the Islamic State extremist group which has “significantly expanded” the territory it controls in the conflict-torn north African nation, U.N. experts said in a report circulated Thursday. The experts monitoring U.N. sanctions against Libya said the militant group has successfully recruited marginalized communities in the central city of Sirte, which it controls. It has also increased its operational capacity in the city of Sabratha and the capital Tripoli through local recruitment reinforced by foreign fighters, the experts said. “While ISIL does not currently generate direct revenue from the exploitation of oil in Libya, its attacks against oil installations seriously compromise the country’s economic stability,” the six-member panel said in the report. “Libyans have increasingly fallen victim to the terrorist group’s brutalities, culminating in several mass killings.” Libya has effectively been a failed state since the 2011 ouster and death of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, which led to the country’s military collapse and fragmentation by powerful militias. Since 2014, an internationally recognized government has convened in the far east of the vast, oil-rich country while a rival Islamist government is based in Tripoli. The United Nations has been trying to help forge a unity government to revive services to millions of people and confront IS extremists”.


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