210310 Dbeibeh
Libya's new Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh gestures as he speaks in parliament in Sirte, Libya March 9, 2021. Image Credit: Reuters

Libya’s long-divided parliament on Wednesday endorsed in a rare session the interim government that has been recently appointed and mandated to bring the splintered country together after more than 11 years of civil war and violence, and to ensure a fair and transparent election is held in December, part of a United Nations -sponsored peace road map.

The 132 members of Libya’s House of Representatives gave their vote of confidence to the new government of Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, which replaced two rival self- proclaimed governments, one based in the east and another in the west, practically ending a decade- long of civil war that saw countries supporting rival factions. Also, countries, like Turkey, have sent in arms, military expertise and thousands of mercenaries in violation of UN resolutions.

Libya was plunged into conflict that split the country since the overthrow in 2011 of Moammar Gadhafi. Wednesday’s vote builds on the historic ceasefire agreement, signed in October 2020 under the auspices of the UN.

Shortly after the Wednesday vote, the world was united in welcoming the parliament’s decision. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed the vote by the parliament as an important step towards “restoring unity, stability, security and prosperity” in the war — ravaged country.

UAE applauds the move

The UAE, as well as all Arab countries, also applauded the move and described it as “a historic achievement,” affirming at the same time its full support for the remaining tracks under the supervision of the United Nations Mission to achieve the road map.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken “congratulated” Libyans for the unity government, hoping that it would bring an end to the conflict. Blinken said the move should be followed by more steps to “abide by the arms embargo, and for foreign forces to leave now.”

That is an important part of the 23 October 2020 road map. Ensuring the departure of the foreign fighters, including thousands of Syrian mercenaries sent, armed and paid by Turkey. There will be no peace and stability as long as those fighters and their allies, the extremist militias that control many parts in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, remain active.

The world today is united in its will to help Libyans chart a stable and prosper future. Thus, the government should seize on that support to fully implement the road map. This is a unique opportunity, and it will be tragic if the Libyans wasted it again.

The international community has shown it support for Dbeibeh and his government. He must cash in on that support for the best interests of the Libyan people.