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Unity government in Libya as bulwark against IS

libya militaTHE West has heaped pressure on rival Libyan politicians to form a unity government as the need for a stable ally to take on Islamic State jihadists in the country grew ever more pressing.

UN hopes that a recent agreement signed between rival Libyan politicians will help end the chaos and conflict that had gripped the country since the fall of former President Moamer Ghaddafi in 2011.

The disorder had provided fertile ground for jihadists and people-smugglers to flourish, and the growing strength of IS in Libya had alarmed the West, which found itself without a stable partner to work with against the radical group.

With a unity government in place, “we can imagine that a call to help will one day be directed to the West” to fight IS, said Marc Pierini, an analyst with the Carnegie centre and European Union ambassador to Tripoli.

The deal was signed by less than half of the members of Libya’s internationally recognised parliament based in eastern Tobruk, and about a third of the members of the rival parliament based in Tripoli.

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