By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 12 December 2014:
The United Nations is warning that if the chaos in Libya is not quickly brought under . . .[restrict]control, it threatens to de-stabilise the whole Sahel region.
The UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Sahel, Ethiopian Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, reported to the UN Security Council yesterday that the security situation in the Sahel continued to be impacted by the crisis in Libya.
Persistent allegations that the Islamic State has set up training camps in Libya were deeply concerning, she said. Moreover the links between terrorist and criminal networks in Libya, Mali and northern Nigeria were becoming clearer.
The networks have provided markets for the exchange of weapons, fighters and other forms of illicit trade, Sellassie said, adding that about 20,000 weapons had crossed into the Sahel from Libya as well as $1.25 billion in cocaine that had traveled through the region.
One of the major issues, she continued, was that the profits from the illegal trafficking exceded the security budgets of most countries in the region.
Australian representative to the UN Gary Francil Quinlan pointed out that Al-Qaida was exploiting local conflicts and criminal networks, especially in Libya.
“It is essential to establish programmes targeting youth, almost half of whom are unemployed and susceptible to extremism,” Quinlin said.
Sellassie stressed, “We need to put forth a lot more effort to resolve the Libyan crisis that is threatening to destabilise the entire region”. [/restrict]