World Bulletin / News Desk
France urged African nations on Tuesday to make a concerted effort to tackle a growing Islamists in the deserts of southern Libya.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, speaking on a visit to Niger where suicide bombers attacked a French-run uranium mine last week, said there were signs that Libya's lawless south was becoming a safe haven for Islamist groups in the Sahara.
"It seems we must make a special effort on southern Libya - which is also what Libya wants," Fabius said after meeting Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou. "We spoke about the initiatives which neighbouring countries can take in liaison with Libya."
A five-month French-led military campaign broke Islamists' hold over the northern two-thirds of Mali, killing hundreds of fighters and pushing others into neighbouring states.
Niger has said the armed group who carried out Thursday's twin attacks on an Areva mine and a military barracks, which killed 25 people had crossed the border from Libya. Tripoli has denied this.
Fabius, who travels to Mali on Tuesday, said efforts to address the problem in southern Libya would need support from Tunisia, Algeria, Chad, Mali and Egypt.
"Since, as is often said, a large part of Libya could act as a refuge for groups, all of these countries must act together," Fabius said, adding that France would assist them with "lots of determination, lots of solidarity".
Libya has become a weapons smuggling route in the Sahara since Muammar Gaddafi's fall in 2011.Last Mod: 28 Mayıs 2013, 18:21