Formation of unity government could open door to international support in fight against Islamic State groups
Libya agreement signed, parties pledge unity government
UNITED NATIONS (Talk Media News) – Libya’s rival parliaments signed a power sharing deal jn Morocco on Thursday, a move U.N. envoy Martin Kobler called a crucial “first step” toward ending the country’s political crisis.
According to the terms of the agreement, a presidential council comprised of members from the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) and a House of Representatives (HoR) based in the eastern city of Tobruk will have one month to establish a unity government.
A U.N. Security Council resolution would then endorse the government, opening the door for international counterterrorism cooperation with the country’s blessing.
Following the 2011 overthrow of Mummer Gaddafi, rival militaries and government structures formed in Libya’s East and West. Both the GNC and the HoR vied for international support, making appeals for assistance containing a growing roster of extremist groups within the country.
The Tobruk parliament ultimately bested the GNC in that effort, securing military assistance from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, as well as diplomatic backing from the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
But limited outside assistance was still not enough to prevent the HoR from losing ground to extremist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Libya, which has carried out numerous attacks on civilians and government personnel, including a mass execution along the Mediterranean coast.
At a meeting of African policy chiefs in Algeria earlier this week, a top African Union official expressed optimism that political agreement in Libya could lead to expanded anti-terror cooperation and could help the country “face all challenges, especially security challenges.”
“The signing of a political agreement by Libyan political parties will help to better coordinate efforts and rapidly address the throes of terrorism from which Libyans and neighbouring countries have suffered,” Smail Cherqui said.