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Libya tribal chiefs set up council to aid peace efforts

By AFP

Cairo (AFP) - Libyan tribal leaders wrapped up a four-day meeting Thursday in Cairo by announcing the creation of a unified council to help find a solution to their strife-torn country.

"We announce the creation of a council of Libyan tribes," said tribal representative Abdel Matlub al-Abyad, reading from a final statement.

He said that its aim would be to "give support to the legitimate authorities in Libya" -- a reference to the internationally recognised government based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

Another tribal figure, Abdel Kader Belkheir, called on Libyans to rally around the armed forces and confront "terrorism".

Since longtime leader Moamer Kadhafi was toppled and killed in 2011, battle-hardened former rebel groups armed with heavy weapons have been carving out their own fiefdoms in Libya.

The country is also politically divided, with two governments and parliaments vying for power.

The Cairo meeting was organised by the Egyptian government, and most of those who attended told AFP they support the Tobruk-based government.

The other administration which is seated in Tripoli was set up last summer by the Fajr Libya militia alliance, which also comprises Islamist groups.

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By: FRANCIS TAWIAH ,