Libyan Presidential Council unveils revised unity government

Libyan Presidential Council backed by United Nations announces revised unity government as part of peace plan aimed at ending civil conflict in North African country

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

UN-backed Presidential Council member Fathi al-Majbari speaks during a press conference on Feb. 15, 2016.

The UN-backed presidential council in Libya announced the formation of a revised national unity government on Sunday as part of a peace mission aimed at ending the conflict in the country.

In a statement broadcasted on TV, one of the council's members Fathi al Majbari said that the list of 13 ministers and five ministers of state had been sent to Libya's eastern parliament the rival House of Representatives (HoR) for approval.

"We hope that this will be the beginning of the end of the conflict in Libya," he said from Skhirat, Morocco, where the council, which is tasked with ushering in a peace deal to end years of political turmoil in Libya, has been meeting to try to come up with a government.

"We call on Libyans suffering from the fighting ... and the members of parliament to support the Government of National Accord, which will provide the framework to fight terrorism," Majbari continued.

After the death of the country’s ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya slid into turmoil.

Since 2014,  Libya has been divided between the control of two rival parliaments, the General National Congress (GNC) in the capital Tripoli and the rival House of Representatives, operating from the eastern city of Tobruk, each backed by their own militias.

With the chaos in the country, the DAESH terror group has gained the opportunity to expand its power, taking control of the city of Sirte.  

International community has urged Libyan factions to back the unity government so that it can start taking on the threat and call in international support where needed.

Last month the HoR rejected an initial proposal for a unity government amid complaints that, at 32, the number of ministers nominated was too high.

There have also been divisions over the distribution of posts and the future control of Libya's armed forces.

Prime Minister-designate Fayez Seraj, who also heads the Presidential Council, told reporters on Sunday that the latest appointments took into account "experience, competence, geographical distribution, the political spectrum and the components of Libyan society".

Many of the names on Sunday's list were different from last month's proposal, though the nominee for the key post of defense minister, Mahdi al Barghathi, was unchanged.

UN Libya envoy Martin Kobler congratulated the council on announcing a new cabinet in a twitter post, saying "The journey to peace and unity of the Libyan people has finally started."

TRTWorld and agencies