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UN-backed Libya peace deal signed in Morocco

July 12, 2015 at 11:55 am

A UN-proposed peace deal for Libya was signed late Saturday in Morocco by some parties to the country’s ongoing political crisis, including representatives of Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament.

Representatives of the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC), however, which demands the amendment of some of the agreement’s terms, did not take part in the signing.

The deal calls for the establishment of a national unity government and the granting of legislative authority to the Tobruk-based assembly.

Bernardino Leon, the UN’s special envoy for Libya, praised the deal, describing it as a step towards ending Libya’s four-year-old political crisis.

In a reference to Libya’s Tripoli-based government, Leon went on to stress that “the door was open” for the country’s other political factions to sign on to the agreement.

Since the ouster and death of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi in late 2011, rival Libyan militias have frequently locked horns, bringing violence to Libya’s main population centers, including capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.

The sharp divisions have yielded two rival seats of government in the country, each of which has its own institutions and military capacities.

Two assemblies currently vie for legislative authority in Libya: the Tobruk-based House of Representatives and the GNC, which – although its mandate ended last year – continues to convene in Tripoli.