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Libya facing tough climb, envoy says

Nov. 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Post-war Libya faces a long list of political and security challenges that may be severe "but are not insurmountable," an envoy told the U.N. Security Council.

Libyan lawmakers this week announced support for a unity government Cabinet presented by Prime Minister Ali Zidan.

Prime Minister-elect Mustafa Abushagur was dismissed last month after failing twice to win approval for a new administration. He had said he wanted a "crisis government" to lead the country given security threats.

Tarek Mitri, head of the U.N. Support Mission in Libya, told the Security Council that Libya has a long political road ahead as it transitions from autocracy to democracy.

"The problems faced should not be underestimated but are not insurmountable," he said. "Building a democratic state is a cumulative process that needs time and patience, but it necessitates, first and foremost, a sustained, coherent and determined effort by the government."

The Libyan government is under pressure to address crimes allegedly committed by former regime officials. National security and a wide array of internal rivalries, meanwhile, are testing the new administration.

An investigation is under way to determine the depth of al-Qaida's involvement in a September attack in Benghazi that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three staff members dead. Government forces, meanwhile, recently recaptured Bani Walid, a former stronghold of late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, from area militias.

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