Germany hints at deploying military to Libya

Published January 19th, 2016 - 10:00 GMT

Germany’s defense minister says she does not rule out dispatching military forces to violence-wracked Libya, without clarifying the nature of the potential deployment.

When asked in a Sunday interview with Bild newspaper about reports on Berlin’s plans for troop deployment to Libya, Ursula von der Leyen said “Germany will not be able to evade responsibility for contributing its share.”

She stopped short of giving details on the nature of such a possible deployment, but made clear that implementing law and order in the North African country was an important goal for Berlin.

The German minister also voiced concern over increasing attacks by Daesh militants in Libya and said the recent advances by the group could unleash a new wave of refugees to Europe, which is already suffering from an unprecedented refugee influx.

Earlier this month, a report by Germany’s Der Spiegel daily revealed that Berlin planned to dispatch a military contingent to a location near Libya with the alleged mission of training the African country’s army.

Der Spiegel said the training mission would be based in Tunisia due to the security situation in Libya, which is in chaos four years after dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and later killed in October 2011.

Since then, armed groups and regional factions have been fighting for power.

The internationally-recognized government, based in Tobruk, eastern Libya, has been vying to recapture the capital, Tripoli, from the militants of the Libya Dawn movement. Militant groups, including Daesh, are also active in Libya. There are fears of a spillover of violence into Europe.

Berlin also has a presence on battlegrounds in Iraq and Syria, where the administration of Chancellor Angela Merkel is contributing more and more forces and weaponry to the US-led coalition targeting Daesh positions.

On Jan. 6, Berlin decided to deploy an additional 550 troops to missions against militants in Mali and Iraq.

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