UN announces plan for Libyan unity government

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

The country has descended into violence since the ousting of long-time dictator Muammar 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.

Fayez Sarraj would be the new prime minister, Leon said, following months of on-and-off negotiations between the rival factions in Morocco.

Sarraj is 55 years old and an architect by training.

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.

Peace plan

"All of them will work as a team," Leon said, and called on all Libyans to back the unity government.

Delegates who have been negotiating the peace plan had backed Sarraj for the role of premier, the Libyan Herald reporting him as saying.

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 House of Representatives of the Tobruk parliament, voted to extend its mandate beyond that date, saying it fears a power vacuum in the country.

The Islamic State extremist militia has taken advantage of chaos in Libya to establish a foothold in the oil-rich country.

Source http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/UN-announces-plan-for-Libyan-unity-gov...