Libya far from peace as political rivalry stirs piles of woes

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A year after Libya's rival parties signed a UN-sponsored political agreement, the North African country still suffers a political division and unrest.

The Libyan government of national accord was appointed on Dec. 17, 2015 in order to put an end to the political division in the country. However, Libya is still divided between two rival governments and parliaments.

Since the uprising that toppled leader Muammar Gaddafi's government in 2011, the North African country has been struggling to make a democratic transition.

"The unity government faces a number of obstacles, mainly its inability to control on the ground, as well as the growing influence of militias in the capital, Tripoli, which weakens the government and leads to hikes in foreign currencies prices," Mahmoud Karim, a Libya academic researcher, told Xinhua.

Al-Mabruk Khalifa, a Tripoli-based writer, believes that the failure of the political elite to reach a true agreement is one of the main obstacles that the unity government faces.

"The failure of parliament to amend the constitutional declaration to include this agreement in addition to the division of political factions and players on the military scene are the main obstacles that the unity government faces," Khalifa told Xinhua.

The authorities in Libya struggle to provide basic services to citizens, which were available for Libyans for free during the Gaddafi era.

Health care and education used to be provided for free to Libyans under the Gaddafi rule, and foodstuff was subsidized by the government. Today, healthcare, education, electricity, and other services are suffering due to lack of funds.

Moreover, the oil-rich country has lost billions of U.S. dollars due to years of closure of oil ports and attacks by militants on the oil fields.

The prices of U.S. dollar increased a year after the appointment of the unity government.

Also, crimes in the capital have also increased. Moreover, the unity government failed to expel militias from Tripoli.

Banks suffers from lack of funds.

"All these factors make the people reject the new government," Ashraf Azzabi, a political analyst, told Xinhua.

In the meantime in eastern Libya, Major General Khalifa Haftar's forces continue the fight against militant groups. Despite the ground success of Haftar's forces, they still don't have full control over the second largest city in Libya.

Haftar's forces managed to take over major oil ports in September after defeating the militias that were controlling them.

"After General Haftar took over the oil ports, his popular support has increased," said Karim.

"I think the inclusion and exclusion of Haftar in the political agreement in the past have changed drastically, especially in the statements of head of the UN support mission in Libya Martin Kobler, who indicated the need for Haftar's presence in the political scene," Azzabi said.

Political rivalry, faltering economy, and insecurity are among the main crises the North African country suffers.

The future of Libya remains unclear with the political factions not seeming to be willing to compromise.

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