U.N. Libya envoy push for national unity govt

U.N. Special Representative and Head of the U.N. Support Mission in Libya Martin Kobler meets with House of Representatives President Aguila Saleh (R), Libya December 31, 2015. (Reuters)

The U.N. envoy for Libya arrived Thursday in the east of the restive country in a bid to persuade the internationally recognized administration to join a national unity government, state media reported.

Martin Kolber visited Shahat, a town close to the temporary headquarters of Libya’s exiled legislature, and met with senior officials, including parliament head Aguila Saleh, the LANA news agency said.

The diplomat was heckled upon his arrival, with one protester calling for the U.N. to “let Libyans decide their destiny”, an AFP photographer said.

Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Muammar Qaddafi, with armed factions battling for territory and control of its oil wealth.

The internationally recognized government fled Tripoli when the capital was seized in August 2014 by militias, who are behind a rival government there.

On December 17, under U.N. guidance, envoys from both sides and a number of independent political figures signed a deal to unify the government.

Around 80 of 188 lawmakers from Libya’s internationally recognized parliament and 50 of 136 members of the rival Tripoli-based General National Congress signed the deal.

It calls for a 17-member government, headed by businessman Fayez el-Sarraj as premier, based in Tripoli.

But analysts have cast doubt on the viability of a deal that would seek to bring together two parliaments controlled by hardliners.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46