Fayez al-Sarraj, Libya’s United Nations-backed leader, says he plans to step down next month. “I declare my sincere desire to hand over my duties to the next executive authority no later than the end of October,” Sarraj said on Wednesday during a brief televised address. His Government of National Accord (GNA), in which he serves as prime minister, is based in Tripoli while eastern Libya and much of the country’s south is controlled by a separate government backed by renegade general Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA). The GNA emerged in 2015 as part of a UN-backed political agreement aimed at uniting and stabilizing Libya after years of turmoil following the 2011 uprising that ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The LNA recently began a retreat back to the east after besieging much of Tripoli in an effort to unseat Sarraj with the help of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Russia. The GNA is backed primarily by Turkey, which, having sent forces to Libya earlier in the year, is credited with ending the LNA’s siege. Sarraj’s government itself is seen as being unstable due to its makeup of various factions.
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