Libya on verge of economic collapse, U.N. envoy warns

A member of the Libyan pro-government forces stands in front of the ruins of a shopping mall in Benghazi, Libya, May 21, 2015. REUTERS/STRINGER

Libya is on the verge of economic collapse as rival factions haggle over a political settlement, the United Nations special envoy said on Thursday.

Bernardino Leon, who has been trying for months to broker an agreement on a national unity government for Libya, said the United Nations was preparing a new draft of a possible political agreement which it hoped to give to the feuding parties in the first week of June.

Two governments – one in the east [the elected government], the other in Tripoli [Libya Dawn, whose largest member is the Muslim Brotherhood] – are fighting for control of the North African state four years after leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted…

“Libya is on the verge of economic and financial collapse. It is facing huge security threats because of the civil war but also…because of the Daesh threat,” he said, referring to Islamic State militants who have gained a foothold in the oil-rich country…