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Ben Sutherland;

For Libya, ‘the First Step in a Long Journey’

The announcement by the United Nations’ envoy for Libya of a national unity government after months of talks is just the “first step in a long journey” for the North African nation plagued by chaos since the ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, says the Atlantic Council’s Karim Mezran.

Libya today has two governments—an Islamist-backed one based in Tripoli and an internationally recognized one that was forced to flee the capital for the eastern city of Tobruk in in the summer of 2014 due to the deteriorating security situation.

Following months of dialogue aimed at bringing the two sides together, Bernardino Leon, the UN envoy, on Oct. 8 announced that delegates at these negotiations had finally agreed to his proposal to form a Government of National Accord. Leon also announced the names of the candidates who will lead this government.

Fayez Sarraj, who represents Tripoli in the Tobruk-based legislature (the House of Representatives), will head the proposed government. He will be supported by three Deputy Prime Ministers representing the west, east, and south of the country.

This is by no means a done deal. As a matter of fact, doubts have already begun to surface. The legislatures in Tripoli (the General National Congress, GNC) and Tobruk (the House of Representatives, HoR) must now ratify this agreement.


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