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U.N. threatens sanctions over Libya

U.N. envoy Bernardino Leon has put forward proposals for the power-sharing government

Published: Updated:

The U.N. Security Council on Saturday threatened to impose sanctions on those who block a peace deal for Libya that has run into hurdles over the formation of a unity government.

U.N. envoy Bernardino Leon has put forward proposals for the power-sharing government, but both Libya’s internationally recognized parliament and the Islamist-backed assembly have balked at the appointments.

Libya has had two administrations since August 2014, when a militia alliance that includes Islamists overran the capital, forcing the internationally recognized government to take refuge in the east of the country.

Security Council members said the “Libya sanctions committee is prepared to designate those who threaten Libya’s peace, stability and security or undermine the successful completion of its political transition,” according to a statement.

The council “urged all Libyan parties to endorse and sign” the political deal and “work swiftly towards the formation of a government of national accord.”

Libya descended into chaos after the fall of Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, with the two sides vying for power as well as several groups battling for control of its vast resource wealth.

The new U.N.-backed government would be headed by Fayez el-Sarraj, a deputy in the Tripoli parliament, and include three deputy prime ministers, one each from the west, east and south of the country.

The U.N. envoy announced the appointments on October 9 after months of talks between rival sides.

The council has repeatedly threatened sanctions against Libyans who fail to back the peace process and stressed that the new government will open the door to financial support.

A unity government in Libya is seen as the best chance to tackle migrant-smuggling from Libyan territory across the Mediterranean and the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.