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Libya's Warring Factions to Create Unity Government

  • Ken Bredemeier

FILE - Damages are seen due to clashes between the Libyan military and Islamic militias in Benghazi, Libya. Representatives of Libya's rival factions who are sitting in Tunis and negotiating through a U.N.-brokered process announced on Tuesday that they have formed a unity government aimed at stemming the chaos that has engulfed the country for the past years.

FILE - Damages are seen due to clashes between the Libyan military and Islamic militias in Benghazi, Libya. Representatives of Libya's rival factions who are sitting in Tunis and negotiating through a U.N.-brokered process announced on Tuesday that they have formed a unity government aimed at stemming the chaos that has engulfed the country for the past years.

Libya's warring factions have agreed to create a unity government, hoping to end the fighting and chaos that has engulfed the country since the overthrow of strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

The United Nations mediated the agreement at a conference in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, but it remains unclear whether it will draw wide support to end the bloodshed in Libya. There was no immediate reaction from the country's two legislatures, the internationally recognized government that operates out of Tobruk in eastern Libya and an Islamist-backed government in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini called for quick ratfication of the unity government.

"Libya is at a critical juncture," she said, "and it is crucial that all key political and security actors uphold the interests of their country and its people above all others. "Only a united Libyan government, supported by all its citizens, will be able to end political divisions, defeat terrorism, and address the numerous security, humanitarian and economic challenges the country faces."

If the rival governments agree to join forces in the coming days, Fayez Sarraj, a lawmaker in the eastern parliament, is set to become the Libyan prime minister.

The power-sharing deal comes as Islamic State militants are gaining a new foothold in Libya, aiming to take control of the country's oil terminals and fields, Libya's key source of wealth.

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