UN endorses Libya agreement to form unity government

UN Security Council endorses Libya unity agreement signed last week between two fighting factions

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

United Nations Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya Martin Kobler (C, top) looks as representatives of Libyan municipalities sign documents to support new national government during a meeting in Tunisia on December 21, 2015

The United Nations Security Council voted on Wednesday for an agreement which aims to form a unity government in Libya.

The deal was signed last week between the two factions of Libya, in the Moroccan coastal town of Skhirat.

The two factions are the General National Assembly, based in Tripoli, and the House of Representatives, based in the eastern coastal cities of Benghazi and Tobruk.

Within the chaos in the country, DAESH terrorist organisation gained the opportunity to expand its power - taking control of the city of Sirte - which is raising international fears.  

With the unanimously adopted resolution, drafted by Britain, Western powers also hope to combat a growing DAESH presence in the strife-torn country.

Matthew Rycroft, Britain's ambassador to the UN, said that the resolution is "a strong collective sign of our commitment to Libya's sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity."

"But it is only the start of a process," he added.

He urged all Libyans to accept the deal, as hardliners in both factions reject it.

"The door is open and the hand of friendship extended," Rycroft said.

A top priority of the new unified government will be "the fight against DAESH [and] the threat of DAESH" the United Nations envoy to Libya Martin Kobler said.

The resolution called on UN member states to "respond urgently to requests for assistance" from Libya's unity government.

Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya’s Ambassador to the UN, told Reuters that "No one is thinking about requesting foreign intervention at the moment."

"We are willing to fight ISIS [DAESH] ourselves," he said.

Around 80 out of 188 lawmakers from Libya's eastern government parliament and 50 out of 136 members of the western government signed the deal on December 17.

Libya has been facing a violent streak of unrest since long-time autocrat Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in 2011.

TRTWorld and agencies