Libya’s eastern administration has officially handed over power to the country’s new interim government which is expected to unify the war-torn country and steer it towards elections later this year.
A handover ceremony was held on Tuesday in Libya’s second city, Benghazi, which had previously served as the headquarters of the eastern administration.
A new Government of National Unity (GNU), led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and backed by the United Nations, was sworn in last week in Tripoli to replace the two rival administrations which have been fighting for control of Libya.
The GNU replaces both the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and the parallel eastern cabinet headquartered in the Cyrenaica region.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron announced that Paris would next week reopen its embassy in Tripoli, which was closed in 2014, as violence spread in the country.
Oil-rich Libya was plunged into turmoil when a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 overthrew longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi, who was later killed.
The interim executive faces daunting challenges to unify the country’s institutions and prepare for elections on December 24.