On Thursday 28th April, the UN-backed unity government in Libya called on military groups to postpone any campaign against the city of Sirte, which is currently under the control of Islamic State, until a unified military command structure has been formed.
Western states are hoping that the unity government can encourage Libya’s armed factions to work together against Islamic State.
The Presidential Council of the Unity Government have said that “in the absence of coordination and unified leadership … the Council expresses its concern that the battle in Sirte against Daesh (Islamic State) will be a confrontation between those armed forces,” adding that such a conflict would likely benefit Islamic State as it could result in a civil war.
In a statement Fayez Seraj, the head of the Council and Prime Minister of the unity government, made it clear that Islamic State would be rooted out “by Libyan hands and not through foreign intervention.” He proceeded to add that “Accordingly, the Presidential Council, as the supreme commander of army, demands all Libyan military forces wait for it to appoint a joint leadership for the Sirte operation.”
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Image source: www.npr.org
Text source: www.reuters.com, 28th April 2016