World

UN envoy warns that Libya is now on the brink of prolonged conflict

The top U.N. envoy in Libya is warning that rapidly deteriorating security and worsening political turmoil have brought the country to the "brink of protracted conflict and civil strife."

Bernardino Leon, who took over two weeks ago as the head of the U.N. mission in Libya, told the Security Council Monday that during his just-concluded first official visit to the country he stressed that only a political solution — not a military one — could solve the crisis.

The increasingly fractured country was plunged into chaos following the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. His ouster gave rise to a patchwork of heavily armed and increasingly unruly militias and deep political divisions that have split the country, with two rival parliaments and governments.