French defense minister warns of 'explosion of violence' in Libya

The French defense minister warned during a visit to the Pentagon Friday that there was a concentration of terrorist groups in southern Libya, and that “there could be an explosion of violence” in the country. 

“As we keep on supporting the transition authorities, the coming weeks will be crucial for the stability of this country,” French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said at a Pentagon press briefing after meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

“The Libyan state is very fragile,” he said. “In Libya there are many militias that are very often as well-equipped as the army or the police.” 

Le Drian also said the U.S. and European nations need to do more to stabilize Libya. 

“The situation doesn't allow to fight against the terrorist groups the way we should do,” he said. 

There were some initiatives taken by the U.S. to train some Libyan forces and by the European Union to ensure border security, he said. 

“But we are faced with a situation that is extremely fragile,” he said, speaking through an English translator. 

“It is going to be a long-term task and this should mobilize our common vigilance to avoid going back to a new cycle of terrorism in an area which is already extremely fragile,” he said.