UN moves to shore up Libya’s unity government

imgThe UN Security Council on Friday unanimously welcomed the Libyan unity government’s move to Tripoli and said it was time to cut off ties with rival administrations.
The statement came after prime minister-designate Fayez Al Sarraj made his first public appearance in the Libyan capital, two days after his arrival angered the Tripoli-based government.
The council said Sarraj’s arrival in Tripoli “was an important step towards bringing stability to the country and bringing the political process back on track.”
Council members renewed their appeal to world governments “to cease support to and official contact with parallel institutions that claim to be the legitimate authority but are outside of the Libyan political agreement.”
Sarraj was picked by the United Nations in October to lead the new unity government, but faced much resistance from Libya’s myriad political factions and armed groups.
Libya has had two rival administrations since mid-2014 when a militia alliance overran the capital, setting up its own authority and forcing the internationally recognized parliament to flee to the country’s east.
After his arrival by sea on Wednesday, the Tripoli administration demanded that Sarraj leave or surrender.
The rival group had denied him permission to fly into the capital.
Sarraj and a number of his ministers turned up at a Tripoli mosque for Friday prayers after winning support from 10 western cities and guards who secure the country’s key oil terminals.
In the statement, the council encouraged Sarraj and his team “to immediately begin work in Tripoli to broaden the basis of its support and to tackle Libya’s political, security, humanitarian, economic and institutional challenges.”
On Saturday Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said that it was working with the UN-backed unity government, which arrived in Tripoli this week, to coordinate future oil sales and “put a period of divisions and rivalry behind us.”

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