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Libya: Presidential Council calls for transfer of power to unity government

Libya: Presidential Council calls for transfer of power to unity government

Libya

Libya’s U.N.-backed Presidential Council has called on the country’s institutions to begin a transfer of authority to a unity government, and appealed to the international community to stop dealing with any rival powers.

The Presidential Council is tasked with guiding through a transition to end the political chaos and armed conflict that has plagued Libya since the fall of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Its statement suggests it will seek to take power despite continuing opposition from hardliners in both of Libya’s competing parliaments – the eastern House of Representatives (HOR) and the rival General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli.

Western nations hope a unity government can help tackle a growing threat from Islamic State, which has used a security vacuum and political divisions in Libya to establish a foothold in the north African country.

The Tunis-based Presidential Council nominated a unity government last month, but recognition of the proposed cabinet has been held up by the failure of the HOR to vote to approve it.

It is also unclear when a unity government could move to Tripoli, where the security situation is still volatile and some armed factions may try to prevent it from operating.

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