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Gadhafi left scar on Libya, U.N. told

June 19, 2013 at 12:17 PM

UNITED NATIONS, June 19 (UPI) -- Decades of authoritarian rule in Libya has left a legacy that is difficult to overcome even with democratic reforms, the U.N. special envoy to Libya said.

U.N. special envoy Tarek Mitri briefed members of the Security Council on the challenges facing post-war Libya.

NATO forces in 2011 intervened in Libya's civil war. Conflict abated with the October 2011 death of Libyan leader Moammar Gahdafi.

The U.N. Support Mission in Libya said last weekend it was concerned by fighting between armed groups and legitimate forces in Benghazi, the seat of the uprising against Gadhafi's regime.

Mitri told the Security Council the conflict started as a peaceful demonstration but quickly deteriorated into an exchange of gunfire. He said incidents like this are part of a growing trend in post-war Libya.

"The political and security challenges that now face the country may well be the legacy of decades of authoritarian rule, dysfunctional state institutions and confusion around political norms," he said in a statement Tuesday.

UNSMIL said all parties to the conflict in Libya, especially in Benghazi, should settle their differences through dialogue rather than violence.

A Libyan law excluding members of the Gadhafi's regime was criticized for being too extensive given that he took power in 1969.

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