Contrasting Realities In Libya For French Minister’s Visit | 12/22/2017 | Staff
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TRIPOLI/BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – A hundred meters from the office of Libyan Prime Minister Fayaz al-Seraj in Tripoli, guards at a detention center for migrants had a message for a visiting French delegation: no minister, no journalists, nobody is allowed in.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian went to Libya on Thursday to revive U.N. talks between rival groups controlling the west and east, with a view to stabilizing a nation in turmoil since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Tripoli - Leg - Visit - Anyone - Authority

But the Tripoli leg of the visit showed how difficult it will be to find anyone capable of imposing authority, with a weak U.N.-backed government depending on an array of armed factions, each with its own agenda.

After meeting Seraj in his impressive office, Le Drian was meant to visit the nearby detention facility to see conditions for African migrants caught as they try to reach Europe.

CNN - Video - Migrants - Slaves - Officials

But after CNN aired a video appearing to show migrants being auctioned off as slaves, Libyan officials are on edge, with guards refusing to let the French visitors through the detention camp’s thick steel door.

center. Nobody is allowed. Not the minister and not journalists.

Not allowed.”

French officials played down the incident, saying there had been no time for a visit anyway.

Seraj - Government - Impact - Anything - Power

But it was symptomatic of how Seraj’s government is struggling to make an impact, failing to fix anything from electric power cuts to a collapsing currency.

Seraj promised to tackle migrant trafficking, but French officials say that will depend on which armed groups are prepared to help him.

Factions - Control

While armed factions are vying for control in...
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