Proposal announced for Libya unity government

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Bernardino Léon, Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), speaks to journalists. UN File Photo/Loey Felipe

A proposal for a unity government in Libya has been announced after nearly a year of negotiations.

Bernardino Léon, UN representative for the country, outlined its makeup during a press conference in Morocco on Thursday.

Two rival governments have been fighting for power in Libya which has been wracked by turmoil and division since the overthrow of former President Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011.

Dianne Penn reports.

Libya's proposed government of unity will have a six-member Presidential Council.

It will consist of Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, a Member of Parliament from Tripoli; three Deputy Prime Ministers, representing the west, east and south of the country, respectively; and two Senior Ministers.

Mr Léon said they will all work "as a team."

The UN envoy paid tribute to the Libyan people: those who had been encouraging participants in the dialogue, those who are in dire humanitarian need, and those for whom the proposal has arrived too late.

"For all of them, our apologies for not having been able to propose this government before, but also our joy because there is at least a chance. And I would like to ask all these Libyans to think of an opportunity for their country, but also an opportunity for so many people in the region, in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen: countries where they cannot even afford the luxury of what we are doing here today which is to propose something; to propose a list of names that can be agreed by everybody.”

The Presidential Council will also decide on potential Ministers from a proposed list of candidates from across Libya.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’37″

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