Algeria hosted officials from Libya’s neighbors on Thursday to discuss a fragile truce in the country and ways to limit foreign influence. The meeting aimed to strengthen “coordination between countries neighboring Libya and international players to accompany Libyans in reviving the political settlement process,” the Algerian government said. Foreign ministers from Egypt, Tunisia, Chad, Niger, Sudan and Mali attended the meeting, as well as Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. Berlin over the weekend hosted a summit to discuss the situation in Libya, where eastern military strongman Khalifa Hifter is leading a monthslong assault against the UN-backed government in Tripoli.
Separately, the Libyan capital’s only operational airport resumed flights on Thursday, one day after shutting down due to a rocket attack. The Mitiga airport has been repeatedly hit since the start of Hifter’s offensive last April.
The Sahel is facing an unprecedented wave of violence, with more than 4,000 deaths reported last year, and a bloody start to 2020. – The Guardian
Robert Burns, Abdi Guled and Cara Anna write: Islamic extremists are already exploiting possible U.S. military cuts in Africa that have caused a rare bipartisan outcry in Washington, with lawmakers stressing the need to counter China and Russia and contain a growing threat from Islamic State group affiliates. […]The Pentagon’s possible reduction of U.S. troops in Africa is part of a worldwide review by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who is looking for ways to tighten the focus on China and Russia. It is not known when a decision will be announced, but officials say Esper has made clear the U.S. will not withdraw from Africa entirely. – Associated Press