AU chief slams 'interference' threat in Libya

Turkish lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill approving a military deployment in Libya to shore up the UN-backed government in Tripoli, which has been under sustained attack since April from a rival administration in the east of the country.

FILE: Moussa Faki Mahamat. Picture: AFP

ADDIS ABABA - African Union chief Moussa Faki Mahamat has expressed his grave concern over potential "interference" in Libya, after Turkey approved the deployment of troops to the conflict-torn North African nation.

Turkish lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill approving a military deployment in Libya to shore up the UN-backed government in Tripoli, which has been under sustained attack since April from a rival administration in the east of the country.

Faki said in a statement late Friday he was "deeply concerned at the deterioration of the situation in Libya and the continuing suffering of the Libyan people."

"The various threats of political and military interference in the internal affairs of the country increase the risk of a confrontation, whose motives have nothing to do with the fundamental interests of the Libyan people and their aspirations for freedom, peace, democracy and development," read the statement.

Faki urged the international community to join forces with Africa in seeking a peaceful resolution of the crisis, warning it had "dangerous consequences" for the continent as a whole.

Libya has been mired in conflict since a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled dictator Moamer Kadhafi, turning the country into a haven for jihadists and migrant smugglers.