Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Libya unity govt cements control after rival cedes power

Libya's UN-backed unity government moved to cement control over the country's finances and institutions Wednesday after the rival administration in Tripoli ceded power in a boost to efforts to end years of chaos.

The concession late Tuesday by the militia-backed administration that had controlled Tripoli since 2014 was a major about-turn for a body that had made every effort to block the arrival of prime minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj.

It came after UN envoy Martin Kobler held talks with Sarraj at the naval base where he has established his headquarters since his arrival under escort by sea last Wednesday.

The international community has pleaded with Libya's warring sides to unite behind the unity government, which it sees as vital to tackling a militant expansion and rampant people smuggling in the North African state.

The Government of National Accord has yet to secure a similar concession from another rival administration based in the far eastern town of Tobruk, which has long claimed international legitimacy because it was appointed by the parliament elected in the last polls in 2014...


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