The U.N. Security Council called for a cease-fire in Libya on Wednesday, three years after the overthrow of the Muammar Qaddafi regime plunged the country into sectarian war.
The resolution also called for the strengthening of the arms embargo on the country and imposing sanctions on individuals and parties inciting violence. The United Kingdom is leading mediation efforts between the warring factions aimed at persuading the sides to lay down their weapons.
As the country struggles to build a functioning democratic government, concerns remain that weapons in the country could easily flow over the porous borders with neighboring Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria and Tunisia. Some of the jihadists fighting in Libya have links to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
The U.S. and other Western governments hope to end the fighting through mediation. However, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, although Cairo denies it, reportedly bombed Islamist positions in Tripoli on Saturday.
The U.S. was not informed in advance of the attack, which drew criticism from Washington. The airstrikes had little impact, as the militia allied with the Islamists seized the airport hours later.
The UAE and Qatar supported U.S. and British efforts to overthrow Qaddafi in 2011. However, much of Qatar’s support went to financing and providing weapons to Islamist groups. Qatar has been the main sponsor of Hamas of late and has provided financial support for the banned Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as well.