Rival Libyan Factions Agree To Hold Elections In Bid To End Civil War
Libya’s two main rival factions agreed to hold long-delayed elections in a bid to end eight years of civil war that erupted following the overthrow of former strongman Moammar Ghaddafi. Fayez al-Sarraj, the prime minister of the internationally-recognized government in Tripoli, and Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army that dominates the east, reportedly committed to “end[ing] the transitional stages in Libya through the holding of general elections.” According to a deal brokered last May, a nationwide vote was supposed to be contested by the end of 2018; however, differences between the sides prevented the actualization of the plan. Complicating matters is that Libya has become a geopolitical battleground, with Haftar supported by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, whereas much of the West has thrown its weight behind al-Sarraj. The United Nations hopes to convene a national reconciliation conference later this month with a view to preventing a repeat of the violence that broke out following Libya’s disputed elections in 2014.