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  1. ITV Report

UN calls for national unity government in Libya to end crisis

Could stability finally be on the horizon for Libya? Credit: Reuters

The United Nations has called for the formation of a national unity government in Libya in an attempt to end years of violence and division in the war-weary country.

Here's everything you need to know.

  • What has happened?
United Nations envoy for Libya Bernardino Leon speaks to the media. Credit: PA Wire

The UN has proposed a national unity government after months of difficult talks.

UN envoy Bernardino Leon announced that Fayez Sarraj, a member of the Tripoli-based government, would be nominated as prime minister.

Other candidates representing the country's east, west and south will fill government posts, he added.

"We believe this list can work," Leon told reporters at a press conference in Morocco.

  • Who currently rules Libya?
The country has been plagued by infighting since the fall of Gaddafi. Credit: Reuters

Good question.

It has two rival governments vying for power: an unofficial Islamist-backed government in Tripoli and an internationally-recognised administration in the east.

Each side is backed by rival alliances of armed factions.

Fighting between rival armed factions has left many dead and forced thousands from their homes.

  • What started the crisis?
Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Credit: Reuters

The north African country has been plagued by years of unrest and violence since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011.

Islamist militants have gained ground, with Western powers increasingly concerned that so-called Islamic State could expand its influence in the country.

Human traffickers have also taken advantage of the chaos by sending tens of thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe.

  • What challenges does the new government face?
The conflict has cost tens of thousands of lives. Credit: Reuters

Where do you start?

The country's economy is near collapse, an estimated 2.44 million people are in desperate need of humanitarian aid and fierce fighting between rival militia groups is showing no sign of slowing.

Good luck.

  • What's Britain's view on the development?
Libya has seen years of violence and unrest. Credit: Reuters

British ambassador to Libya Peter Millet said the Libyan people must "get behind" the proposal to end the violence and bring the country some much-needed stability.

I think there is no better chance and there is no alternative to this approach and to this sort of government, which tries to balance a lot of different interests.

So I appeal again to the Libyan people to get behind it and give it the best possible chance for success.

– Peter Millet