Al-Sarraj referred to “internal and external conspiracy” and other hurdles to the effectiveness of his government, saying, “I sincerely declare that I would like to hand over my mission to the next administration by the end of October at the latest.”
In a statement, Acting Secretary-General Stephanie Williams praised the decision, saying, “When it becomes clear that the situation is no longer sustainable, the long-standing crisis in Libya has reached a decisive turning point.”
Williams said, “Now the Libyan parties involved are fully responsible for their responsibility to the Libyan people, making historical decisions and accepting mutual concessions for their own sake,” Williams said.
The GNA has often clashed with the self-proclaimed Libyan Armed Forces (LNA) and his administration of General Khalifa Haftar in oil-rich regions of eastern Libya. The general led a campaign to seize the oil-rich North African country from the UN-backed GNA.
Despite UN-led efforts to secure a peace treaty between the two factions and UN arms embargo on Libya, the LNA and Tripoli-based GNA received military and financial support from international actors.
According to military information released by the U.S. African Command, the LNA received military assistance from the UAE, Egypt and Russia, as well as on-site assistance from Russian civilian military contractors.
Meanwhile, the GNA’s counterattack against Haftar’s attempt to take over Tripoli was supported by Turkey, which guaranteed military hardware and field support to the GNA troops after signing a bilateral security agreement in November 2019.