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UN proposes Libya unity government

The United Nations envoy for Libya has proposed the formation of a national unity government after months of difficult talks.

Since 2014 Libya has had two rival governments – an Islamist-backed one in Tripoli and an internationally recognised government in the east.

UN envoy Bernardino Leon told a news conference in Morocco that Fayez Sarraj would be nominated as prime minister.

He said the names of candidates for other posts had also been decided.

“After a year of work in this process, after working with more than 150 Libyan personalities from all the regions, finally the moment has come in which we can propose a national unity government,” Mr Leon said in the Moroccan city of Skhirat.

He said the conflict in Libya had cost many lives and about 2.4 million people were in need of humanitarian aid.

“To all of them: our apologies for not having been able to propose this government before, but also our joy because there is at least a chance,” Mr Leon added.

However, any final deal must pass a vote in Libya’s rival parliaments to succeed.

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A loose alliance of militias, including Islamists, seized the capital, Tripoli, in August 2014 and reinstated the General National Congress (GNC), forcing the existing and internationally recognised government to flee to the eastern city of Tobruk.

The country’s politicians have faced increasing pressure from the West to reach an agreement.

Years of violence and political chaos have allowed Islamist militants to gain ground in Libya and also seen human traffickers use the Libyan coast to send tens of thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe.


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