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UN mission in Libya proposes unity government

The head of the UN Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) has proposed the formation of a unity government in the North African country.

Bernardino Leon made the announcement at a press conference in the Moroccan city of Skhirat on Thursday, adding that a list of the proposed candidates for the national unity government has been also prepared.

Since August 2014, when militias seized the capital, Tripoli, Libya has had two parliaments and two governments with one, the General National Congress, run by the rebels in the capital and the other, which is internationally-recognized, based in the northeastern city of Tobruk.

Fayez Sarraj (pictured below), a member of the Tripoli-based parliament, will be nominated as the Libyan prime minister, the UN envoy said.

“After a year of work in this process, after working with more than 150 Libyan personalities from all the regions, finally the moment has come in which we can propose a national unity government,” Leon said.

Three deputies for the prime minister, representing the country’s east, west and south, and two ministers to complete a presidential council are among the posts in the proposed government.

Mussa al-Kouni, one of the proposed deputy prime ministers, said, “The hardest part has just begun.”

For the proposed government to succeed, it must pass a vote in both parliaments in Libya.

“To all of them: our apologies for not having been able to propose this government before, but also our joy because there is at least a chance,” Leon added.

Talks have been held between the two sides for months, with Leon trying to produce an agreement that will lead to the formation of a government and an end to the militancy in the country.

Libya has been grappling with violence and political uncertainty since the oil-rich country’s former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, was deposed in an uprising in 2011.

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