Trying to stitch together a torn county, Libya’s Presidential Council has called on all institutions to transfer authority to a unified government, U.S. Special Envoy Jonathan Winer said Saturday.
“Major step,” the envoy tweeted.
The move is aimed at ending Libya’s armed conflict and political divisions. The stakes are high, for many reasons.
Earlier this month, U.N. officials said ISIS in Libya is not only taking advantage of a political vacuum by expanding throughout the country with “relative ease,” but also has “booming” financial resources.
Martin Kobler, the U.N. special representative to Libya, said he was optimistic that a majority of Libyans support the formation of the Government of National Accord but that there are some parties that “pursue their own narrow political interests.”
He warned that the lack of political structure is risking “division and collapse” of the country while criminal networks and terrorist groups establish “deep roots.”
In December, Libya’s warring factions signed a fragile deal to form a national government aimed at bringing peace to the country, the United Nations said. The pact calls for unity between the two rival governments – a self-declared, Islamist-leaning one in the capital Tripoli, and an internationally-recognized one in the east, based in Tobruk.
Libya has been the scene of chaos and fighting between city states, rival tribes and Islamist militias since the 2011 revolution that saw the fall of Moammar Gadhafi. The longtime leader was killed after being captured by rebel forces in his hometown of Sirte, Libya, in October 2011.
In January, U.N. officials welcomed the nomination of the Government of National Accord as a means of resolving the crisis.