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4/22/15

Libya - - Post-Gaddafi chaos in Libya fuels EU migrant crisis

The battle between secular and Islamist militias in Libya – including the Islamic State group – is helping fuel a migrant exodus from the North African nation, which has descended into chaos since the 2011 ouster of former leader Muammar Gaddafi. EU foreign ministers were set to discuss the influx of migrants at a meeting Monday in Luxembourg after the drowning of at least 700 people off the Libyan coast over the weekend.

The disaster has shined a spotlight on a burgeoning EU immigration crisis that the UN said has claimed some 1,600 lives so far this year.

Per capita national income in the European Union is 30 times that found in Libya and most other North African states, a discrepancy that prompts many to risk crossing the Mediterranean. But the militia takeover of much of Libya – and the continuing fighting between rival armed groups – has led many more in recent years to attempt the perilous journey to European shores.

Libya is embroiled in a civil conflict that is threatening to turn the country into a failed state. Two rival governments – the internationally recognised winner of June 2014 elections based in Tobruk and another Misrata-based faction that controls the capital, Tripoli – are jockeying for dominance, with each controlling its own political institutions and military forces.

Read more: Africa - Post-Gaddafi chaos in Libya fuels EU migrant crisis - France 24

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