Peace hopes for Libya raised following ministerial shake up

15 Feb 16

Libya’s presidential council has announced a new line up of ministers who could form the war-torn country’s unity government, bringing fresh hopes for peace after years of violence.

 

The UN-backed peace plan, which was signed by the warring factions last December, faltered last month after the country’s parliament rejected the nine-strong council’s first ministerial proposals because it claimed the number of ministers was too high.

Martin Kobler, UN special envoy for Libya, congratulated the council on its new proposals, which will now be put to a vote in parliament this week, and called the news a major breakthrough that promises a new beginning for the North African country.

He called on all members of the internationally recognised Libyan parliament to endorse the proposed unity government.

“It’s now their responsibility to save their country from the scourge of further conflict and destruction. This is an historic opportunity for peace that should not be missed,” he said.

Libya slipped into conflict following the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya since 1969, during the Arab Spring in 2011. Since 2014 it has had two rival governments, one operating out of the capital Tripoli and the other out of Tobruk in the east, both backed by various armed groups.

ISIS went on to take advantage of the security vacuum this created. Western governments and the UN have urged the Libyan factions to agree to the power-sharing government so they can begin to tackle this new threat.

The formation of a government would also enable its ministers to request international support to fight ISIS. Western powers are already weighing up their military options in the face of increasing calls to address the threat.

Elsewhere in the region however, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia have voiced opposition to western military action that they fear will only lead to further instability. 

  • Emma Rumney

    Emma is a reporter at Cooking Recipes International. She also writes for in the UK.

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