Libyan factions sign long-delayed peace deal

Skhirat, Morocco – Libya’s rival factions on Thursday signed a long-delayed UN-backed deal aimed at ending the country’s civil strife.

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Representatives from Libya’s two competing parliaments signed the power-sharing pact at a televised ceremony in the presence of the UN envoy Martin Kobler and several foreign diplomats in the Moroccan resort town of Skhirat.

“Today is a historic day for Libya,” Kobler told the signing ceremony.

The agreement calls for the creation of a national unity government and a presidential council to lead the oil-rich country in a transitional period.

The deal came after nearly a year of UN-sponsored negotiations in Morocco.

Libya has been locked in conflict since a Nato-backed revolt overthrew long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi four years ago.

A civil war has seen the emergence of numerous militias, forcing several countries to evacuate their citizens and diplomats.

Libya’s rivals are mainly split between the Islamist-leaning General National Congress based in the capital Tripoli, and the centrist-dominated, internationally recognised House of Representatives further east in Tobruk.

Each assembly is backed by different armed militias.

News 24