Hope for deal to end Libya crisis

Hope for deal to end Libya crisis
UN envoy Bernadino Leon has said, although he has struggled to broker a deal between Libya's warring parties, he hopes to announce a unity government shortly.
2 min read
08 October, 2015

Libyan lawmakers have not yet reached agreement on a national unity government that is meant to stitch the oil-rich, chaotic North African country back together, the UN's Libya envoy said.

Bernardino Leon had said that the United Nations hoped to announce the unity government on Wednesday.

"We hope that tomorrow at the latest to be able to announce this unity government," Leon told reporters at a midnight briefing in Skhirat, Morocco. He said there was "no need to introduce modifications" into what has been described as the final draft of a peace deal.

Libya is split between an Islamist-backed government based in Tripoli and an internationally recognised government in the country's east.

The UN is trying to broker a deal to unify them and bring peace to a country that fell apart after the overthrow of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Even as lawmakers were in session on Wednesday to debate names for the potential unity government, Libyan security officials said an explosion went off next to the parliament in the capital, Tripoli.

The officials, who are loyal to the Tripoli-based government, said no casualties were reported.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorised to speak to reporters.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the explosion.

The internationally recognised government on Monday voted to extend its mandate past the 20 October deadline that was part of a political roadmap sketched out after Gaddafi was overthrown.

The move signalled a lack of confidence in UN efforts toward a peace deal.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and others at a high-level UN meeting on Friday urged Libya's rival governments to act quickly and reach a deal.