Libya's Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni

Libya’s new parliament on Sunday swore in Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni and his cabinet during a meeting in the eastern port town of Tobruk.

The ceremony followed weeks of political manoeuvring in the fractious assembly, as clashes continued between rival militias near the capital Tripoli and in the eastern city of Benghazi.

In Tripoli, a rival government under Omar al-Hassi claims power with the support of Islamist militias and the reconvened former interim parliament, the General National Congress.

In Benghazi, the largest city in eastern Libya, radical Islamist militias have succeeded in pushing rival forces loyal to retired general Khalifa Haftar out of most areas.

The Tobruk-based parliament, the House of Representatives, has swung behind the anti-Islamist forces, declaring the main Islamist militias to be terrorist organizations.

The United Nations has called for a dialogue starting on Monday which will bring together all parties to the conflict to discuss a handover of power to the Tobruk assembly.

Libyan authorities have failed to build up coherent security forces since the downfall of Moamer Gaddafi, relying instead on a plethora of militias that sprang up during the 2011 revolt against the long-time ruler.

But those militias have now become polarized along political and regional lines, raising the prospect of nationwide civil strife.

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