The Associated Press reports: One of Libya’s rival governments has resigned, a step that helps efforts by a new, UN-brokered unity government to assert itself in the capital Tripoli despite opposition from some local militias.
In a statement, the Tripoli-based National Salvation government said it would “cease duties” as executive authority, and therefore absolve itself of responsibility for the country’s fate.
“We put the interests of the nation above anything else, and stress that the bloodshed stop and the nation be saved from division and fragmentation,” the statement read.
Western nations view the new unity government as the best hope for ending Libya’s chaos and uniting all factions against an increasingly powerful Islamic State affiliate, which has seized the central city of Sirte. Another government, based in the eastern city of Tobruk, still opposes the UN-backed body. [Continue reading…]
The Washington Post reports: The United States and European allies, including Italy, France and Britain, have made the unity government’s establishment a key precondition for launching twin missions to begin an international stabilization effort and help combat a growing Islamic State affiliate there.
Each of those tasks will be strained by tensions among militia factions that Western nations hope will form a unified front against terrorist groups and by strong reluctance among European nations to wade into Libya’s chaos — even among those countries most threatened by the Islamic State’s growth across the Mediterranean.
The tentative political progress comes as the United States moves forward with plans to launch intensified attacks against the Islamic State’s Libyan branch, which has up to 8,000 fighters and is the group’s strongest affiliate outside Iraq and Syria. [Continue reading…]