Defence minister: Germany "will not shirk responsibility" in Libya

The German Bundeswehr will not evade its responsibility if the international community decides on military intervention in Libya, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday in the mass circulation newspaper Bild.

Contributing to political stabilization in the conflict-ridden country by installing a functioning government and fighting Islamist terrorism there is "a responsibility that Germany will not shirk," the minister said in the interview.

The oil-rich country is split between two competing parliaments, each backed by different militias. The Islamic State movement has taken advantage of the conflict to establish a foothold in the country. Von der Leyen also warned that Islamic State militants operating in Libya are seeking to ally themselves with Boko Haram, an Islamist terror organization that claims to have created a caliphate in central Africa.

"If this is achieved, an axis of terror will be created that will be able to destabilize large swathes of Africa," she said. "This would result in a new refugee influx, which we cannot allow."

Last month, Libyan politicians signed a UN-brokered agreement to set up a national unity government, but influential figures in the quarrelling parliaments are holding out against the deal.

Last update: Mon, 18/01/2016 - 13:32

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