Algeria to host six African foreign ministers on Libya conflict

ALGERIA, will host foreign affairs ministers from six northern and sub-Saharan African countries this Thursday to discuss the conflict in Libya.
The Algiers meeting of ministers from Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Chad, Mali and Niger follows a summit in Germany’s capital, Berlin, aimed at shoring up a ceasefire.
Algeria is working to build consensus to secure the maximum chance for a peace deal at a proposed future meeting in Algiers.
Algeria maintains good contacts with all sides in Libya. Several other foreign leaders and foreign ministers from Arab and European states and Turkey have all visited Algeria in recent weeks to discuss the crisis.
Already facing its own internal political problems after nearly a year of mass protests that have led to changes in its leadership, Algeria is worried about new security threats arising from any escalation in Libya.
Algeria fears attempts by armed groups to enter its territory from Libya to attack its oil and gas facilities.
Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi and has become a battleground for rival proxy forces.
The deeply divided country currently has two rival administrations, the United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli, and another allied with renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar in the east.
The country’s embattled Prime Minister, Fayez al-Sarraj enjoys UN recognition and a Turkish military presence but has struggled to assert his authority beyond Tripoli.
Hafter has the support of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia. His Libyan National Army controls vast swaths of territory in the oil-rich North African country.
In April, Haftar’s forces launched an offensive to seize Tripoli, with clashes so far killing more than 280 civilians and 2,000 fighters while displacing tens of thousands of people.
On January 12, a fragile ceasefire backed by both Turkey and Russia was put into place.
On Sunday, world leaders agreed at a conference in Berlin to set up an “International Follow-Up Committee”, which seeks to implement the goals of the summit, namely to secure a lasting ceasefire and implement a UN arms embargo that has been largely ignored for almost a decade.
The committee is scheduled to meet for the first time in Berlin in mid-February.