January 17, 2016 / 10:00 AM / 2 years ago

Naming of Libyan unity government delayed by 48 hours

TUNIS (Reuters) - The body tasked with naming a unity government for Libya under a U.N.-backed plan to resolve the country's political crisis has delayed the planned announcement of the government's members by 48 hours.

The Presidential Council said in a statement released late on Saturday that it had made "great progress" since beginning discussions on Jan. 1 but needed two more days to complete its work.

Libya has been racked by political divisions and violence as numerous factions and militias have competed for power following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Since the summer of 2014 the country has had two rival governments, one based in the capital Tripoli and the other in the east.

A United Nations-mediated deal struck in Morocco on Dec. 17 aims to heal the divisions and help Libya tackle a growing security threat from Islamic State militants. It gave the Tunis-based Presidential Council one month to name a Government of National Accord.

But the presidents of Libya's competing parliaments and many deputies did not back the agreement and it has continued to face stiff opposition from some factions on the ground.

Once the new government's membership is announced, the internationally recognized parliament in eastern Libya will have 10 days to approve it.

Reporting by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Gareth Jones

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