UN envoy Ghassan Salame has bitterly denounced the conflict in Libya saying it is “committing suicide” and plundering its oil wealth to pay for the war.
The north African country was “a textbook example of foreign interference today in local conflicts,” Salame told a New York-based think tank late Wednesday.
Between “six and 10 countries (are) permanently interfering in Libya’s problem” funnelling arms, cash and military advice to the country, he warned.
But the Libyans do not need outside help to fuel the conflict, which has ravaged the country since dictator Moamer Gaddafi was ousted in 2011, he said.
“The truth is that Libya can pay for its own suicide,” Salame lamented.
“I always considered my compatriots in Lebanon as stupid enough to commit suicide with somebody else’s money. The Libyans are even worse. They are committing suicide with their own money,” he told the International Peace Institute (IPI).
Lebanon was devastated by a civil war between 1975 and 1990, fuelled by regional rivalries.
Salame stressed that Libya was a rich country, producing 1.2 million barrels of oil a day.
“This is big money,” the UN envoy said. “Plus there are mines of gold, platine ... The country is very wealthy, so it (the conflict) can expand.”
He again urged the international community to “not only contain this conflict”.