Libya agrees on new UN-backed unity government

Published October 9th, 2015 - 06:50 GMT

UN envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon late Thursday proposed a national unity government for the divided nation after months of negotiations.

The country has descended into violence since the ousting of longtime dictator Moamer Gaddafi in 2011. It is currently torn between two rival administrations: the Islamist-backed General National Congress based in the capital Tripoli, and an internationally recognised government based in Tobruk in the east.

"This, if supported by all Libyans, will be the best government in the world," Leon said. "If it is not supported, no matter how good they are, it's not going to work," he added.

The plan came following months of on-and-off negotiations between the rival factions in Morocco.

Leon said the new prime minister would be Fayez Sarraj. Sarraj, from the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, is 55 years old and an architect by training, local media reported.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the peace deal.

"After months of turmoil and uncertainty, the secretary-general urges Libyan leaders not to squander this opportunity," his spokesman said in a statement.

A former prime minister, Ahmed Maiteeq, was named as one of Sarraj's deputies.

The original peace plan was changed to include not five but six people on a new presidential council headed by Sarraj, according to the English-language Libya Herald.

"All of them will work as a team," Leon said.

The international community would provide "their utmost support" for the new government, he said.

The deal must pass a vote in the rival parliaments to go ahead.

Leon had previously said that an agreement on the government should be reached before October 20, marking the end of the Tobruk parliament's mandate.

However, on Monday, the Tobruk parliament voted to extend its mandate beyond that date, saying it feared a power vacuum in the country.

© 2021 dpa GmbH

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