Libya’s rival government in Tripoli steps down

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In a boost to Libya’s unity government, the rival government in Tripoli has resigned.

The National Salvation government on April 5 said it would “cease duties” as an executive authority.

National Salvation Prime Minister Khalifa al-Ghwell announced on March 5 the Tripoli-base government has "ceased duties."
National Salvation Prime Minister Khalifa al-Ghwell announced on April 5 the Tripoli-base government has “ceased duties.”

“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 National Salvation said in a statement.

The rival government in the eastern city of Tobruk continues to oppose the UN-backed unity government.

Western nations see the new unity government as the best hope for uniting Libya’s factions against Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), which has seized the coastal city of Sirte and more than doubled its number of jihadists in the country since last year.

The European Union imposed sanctions on three Libyan officials, including prime minister Khalifa Ghweil of the Islamist-backed government in Tripoli, for what it described as hindering the new unity government from beginning its work.

Also sanctioned were Agilah Saleh, parliament head in Tobruk, and Nuri Abu Sahmain, who leads the outdated General National Congress.

The head of the new government, Fayez Serraj, arrived in Tripoli last week to set up a temporary seat of power in a naval base. Serraj arrived by sea amid threats from competing factions which prevented him from arriving by air.

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