Inside Story

Libya unrest: regional fallout?

Borders and embassies are closed as neighbours assess the impact of the latest violence.

Regional neighbours have been responding to the growing tension in Libya, as concerns grow of a wider fallout. Loose alliances of former fighters in Libya are lining up against each other.

Forces loyal to former general Khalifa Haftar have taken up arms against more religious groups dominating Libya’s fractured government, vowing to rescue Libya from ìterroristsî.

Saudi Arabia and Algeria have both closed their embassies for security reasons. Algeria sent special forces into Tripoli to evacuate its ambassador, and it has imposed what it called a ìmaximum state of emergencyî along its border with Libya.

Egypt has imposed a temporary ban on citizens travelling to Libya, and stopped Libyans from crossing into the country.

Meanwhile, Tunisia’s Ennahda movement issued a statement calling for “… stopping the bloodshed in Libya, providing favorable conditions for stability and calm and starting an inclusive national dialogue together all political rivals and pave the way for reconciliation.”

 The US says it is watching the situation in Libya “very closely”. Four more US aircraft have been moved from Spain to Sicily, along with 60 marines.

They are on standby if needed to evacuate US embassy staff. So, what is the wider threat from the unrest in Libya? And does the latest violence threaten to destabilise Libyaís neighbours?

Presenter: Dareen Abughaida

Guests: Mohamed Eljarh – a Libyan acitivist and writer for Foreign Policy magazine

Joseph Kechichian – a senior fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Saudi Arabia

Mark Kimmitt – former assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs and a retired Brigadier General for the US Army