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  •  Awad Mohammed Abdul-Sadiq (L), deputy head of the General National Congress, and Ibrahim Fethi Amish from the House of Representatives sign peace deal.

    Awad Mohammed Abdul-Sadiq (L), deputy head of the General National Congress, and Ibrahim Fethi Amish from the House of Representatives sign peace deal. | Photo: AFP

Published 6 December 2015

The deal may help stabilize the country that has largely become overrun by rebel and Islamist groups.

Libya’s rival governments agreed to a peace deal Sunday, raising hopes of ending a four-year-long civil war since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi. The leaders of the Tobruk-based and Tripoli-based governments agreed on a power-sharing deal three weeks after rejecting the proposal of United Nations’s previous envoy.

The Muslim Brotherhood-run General National Congress and the internationally recognized House of Representatives have been feuding since the Arab Spring protests, French intervention and NATO airstrikes toppled Gadhafi in 2011. The power vacuum prevented law enforcement from addressing the rising presence of the Islamic State group and other rebel groups that backed either government. Italy, in an attempt to stem growing migrant and refugee smuggling from the Libyan coast, will host an international conference to stabilize the country.

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The agreement, according to the Tunisian news agency TAP, would hold legislative elections in two years, uphold the former Libyan constitution and create a mixed commission to amend the constitution. It would also appoint a cabinet with an interim prime minister and two vice-heads, one from the Parliament and one from the council. The draft is awaiting approval by both governments.

"This is a historic moment the Libyans were waiting for, the Arabs were waiting for and the world was waiting for," said Awad Mohammed Abdul-Sadiq, the first deputy head of the Tripoli-based General National Congress.

OPINION: Tormenting Libya

Talks have been ongoing for almost a year, but the U.N.’s previous proposal in early October upset both governments, worried about the proposed candidates and conditions. The previous envoy, Bernardino Leon, also accepted a job with the United Arab Emirates, which has been illegally arming Libyan factions. Though the U.N. had claimed the text was final, it replaced Leon with Martin Kobler, a German diplomat who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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