Intervention in Libya 'Essential' Says Niger President

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Intervention in Libya 'Essential' Says Niger President

Since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi's regime, Libya has collapsed into a chaos of warring militias and rival governments.

Niamey:  A solution to the crisis in Libya is not possible without an international intervention, the President of neighbouring Niger said today.

"I do not see how the armed terrorist militias can create the conditions for reconciliation among Libyans," said President Mahamadou Issoufou.

"An international intervention is essential to the reconciliation of all Libyans," including supporters of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who himself was deposed and killed in 2011 after an international military intervention.


Since the overthrow of Gaddafi's regime, Libya has collapsed into a chaos of warring militias and rival governments, and is awash with weapons that travel in an arc of unrest through northern Mali and Niger.

Issoufou was speaking shortly after a meeting with France's Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who has been visiting French troops stationed in Chad and Niger.

Le Drian announced the purchase of three new Reaper drones from the United States to help local forces monitor jihadist groups operating across the remote desert region.

"When there was an intervention in Libya, no one consulted us," said Issoufou, referring to the international military campaign that helped overthrow Khadafi in 2011.

"But we are the ones paying the price today. The whole world should listen to us."

He added there should be a United Nations resolution on intervention. When asked whether Russia would block it, as occurred in 2011, Issoufou said the situation was very different today.

"All countries know that what is happening in Libya is unacceptable."

Last month, leaders in the sub-Saharan Sahel region of Africa called on the UN to organise an international force "to neutralise the armed groups" in Libya following a regional summit in Mauritania.



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