One of Libya's rival governments resigns

Wed 6 Apr 2016

One of Libya's rival governments resigns

According to a justice ministry statement, one of the two rival governments in Libya announced its resignation on April 6th. A statement of the self-declared National Salvation government reported: “We put the interests of the nation above anything else, and stress that the bloodshed stop and the nation be saved from division and fragmentation.” The move from the National Salvation came after the EU imposed sanctions on three Libyan officials, including the Prime Minister of National Salvation Khalifa Ghweil. Hassan al-Sgear, head of Ghweil’s office, said the decision came after discussions between his office and the Cabinet on ways to stop the bloodshed in Libya’s civil war.

International interference
One week ago the UN-backed National Unity government with Prime Minister-designate Fayez Sarraj arrived in Libya’s capital Tripoli. Western countries want the unity government to unite as many factions in Libya as possible to end Libya’s political chaos. This unity is needed against an increasingly powerful affiliate of the Islamic State. In December the UN-backed agreement was signed by members of both rival parliaments. However, hardliners in both factions reject it and question remained whether it will be implemented in a country where rival armed brigades hold the key to power. Under the agreement, a nine-member presidential council will form a government, with the current, eastern-based House of Representatives as the main legislature, and a State Council as a second, consultative chamber.

Rival administrations

Since 2011, when a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has been in turmoil. Since 2014 Libya has had two rival administrations and parliaments: the internationally recognised authorities based in Tobruk and a rebel-backed authority holding power in the capital, Tripoli (National Salvation). While National Salvation has backed the unity government, the Tobruk government is still opposing it, saying the proposed administration did not represent the interests of the Libyan people but had been formed "according to the demands of militia leaders". The Tobruk-based parliament voted on 25 January against a unity government with rivals in Tripoli, and demanded the cabinet to reshuffle.

Sources: BBC, Aljazeera, Alarabiya, Guardian