Libya’s UN-backed PM says he wants to step down by late October

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Libya’s Internationally recognised Prime Minister, Fayez al-Sarraj, on Wednesday announced his intention to step down by the end of October and hand over power to a new executive authority agreed by warring parties in the country.

“I announce to all my sincere wish to cede my functions to the next administration before the end of October at the latest,” al-Sarraj said in a televised speech, citing progress in UN-led talks that aim at achieving peace and unifying the country.

According to reports by Bloomberg, al-Sarraj will stay on in a caretaker capacity through negotiations for a new government in Geneva next month, with the official announcement expected to come by the end of the week.

Al-Sarraj is the head of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), based in the capital, Tripoli, while a big part of the south and east is controlled by General Khalifa Haftar, the military commander of Libya’s National Army (LNA).

In August, the two sides agreed on a ceasefire and to engage in peace talks. Earlier this month, they agreed to hold elections within 18 months and to appoint a new government.

Libya has been torn by conflict since 2011, when the NATO-backed uprising overthrown the longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

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