Naming of Libya’s New Unity Government Delayed By 48 Hours

Following the United Nations-backed agreement to resolve Libya’s armed conflict by instituting a unity government, the Presidential Council, tasked with naming the unity government, has delayed announcement of the new government’s members by 48 hours.

The Presidential Council, having begun discussions since January 1, released a statement on Saturday night, claiming that “great progress” had been made since the inception of the discussions. However, the council also stated, it would need 48 hours more to complete its work and tie up loose ends.

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Following the summer of 2014, Libya has had two rival factions, backed with different parliaments, together with armed militia, assembled from the different squads of rebels who once opposed Gadaffi. The two factions have been locked in the ongoing Second Libyan Civil War. One of the factions, called the Libya Dawn, operates from the capital Tripoli, while the other camp, has control of Eastern Libya.

The United Nations, swift in action to quell the fracas, proposed a deal for a unity government in view of delivering stability to Libya and tackle the growing threats of extremist terrorism in the country. After several reviews, the deal was finally agreed on, struck, and signed in Morocco, on December 17, after which a Tunis-based Presidential Council was given 30 days to name a Government of National unanimity.

The deal, however, was vehemently opposed by both presidents of the conflicting parties, as well as their deputies and the several other belligerent groups within Libya.

Nouri Abusahmain, head of the Libyan Dawn – the group in control of Tripoli – said on Saturday, that plan by the Presidential Council to secure the capital was in complete violation of international military law.

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As part of the deal for the institution of the Unity Government, once the government has been instituted and its membership announced, the internationally recognized parliament in eastern Libya will have a week and three days to approve it.

Though the United Nations have come a long way in trying to unite the warring factions vying for power since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, this delay has been seen by some as being a signal for the challenges in uniting the factions into a single government.