The UN-backed government of Libya on Saturday appointed a new defense minister and a new chief of staff. 

Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj said on Monday that he would reshuffle the cabinet or appoint a crisis government, following protests in several cities in western Libya against the political, economic and security instability as well as lack of basic services.

Serraj also pledged to work on providing the basic services for the people, mainly electricity and water.

Libya has been suffering insecurity and political instability ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011. 

UN stresses need to return to political process in Libya

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Saturday stressed the need for an inclusive return to the political process in the country.

"Libya is witnessing a dramatic turn of events that underlines the urgent need to return to a full and inclusive political process that will meet the aspirations of the Libyan people for representative government, dignity, and peace," the UN body said in a statement.

It urged calm, the application of the rule of law and the preservation of the rights of all citizens to peacefully express their views.

"Across Libya, UNSMIL is registering an increase in reports of human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests and detention, restrictions placed on freedom of movement and expression, as well as on the right of peaceful assembly and protest," the mission said.

The UNSMIL expressed concern about the excessive use of force in the capital Tripoli against demonstrators, as well as the arbitrary arrest of a number of civilians.

The mission also voiced concern about reports of ongoing human rights violations and abuses in the city of Sirte, some 450 km east of Tripoli, which include killing of a civilian, the arbitrary arrest of several others, and the illegal forced entry into private properties.

"The prolific use of hate speech and incitement to violence appears designed to further divide Libyans, increase polarization and tear at the country's social fabric at the expense of a Libyan-Libyan solution," the mission warned.

Libya has been plagued by escalating violence and political instability ever since the fall of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Syria’s Assad Confirms New Cabinet Lineup

 Syrian President Bashar Assad issued a decree on Sunday that will see Hussein Arnous head a new national government, the presidency said.

The cabinet is made up of 29 ministers, including two women who are in charge of culture and social affairs and labour. The ministers of oil and electricity have been replaced after a blast at a major gas pipeline near the capital of Damascus caused power outages across the nation. 

Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, Interior Minister Mohammad Khaled al-Rahmoun, and Economy and Foreign Trade Minister Mohammad Samer al-Khalil retained their positions in the reshuffle.

Assad nominated Arnous, the prime minister in the outgoing government, to form a new cabinet this week following a parliamentary election in July.

The election took place in most of the country's territory, resulting in the victory of the National Unity coalition led by the ruling Baath party, receiving 183 seats out of 250.

The Syrian economy and infrastructure have been severely undermined by the ongoing civil war between the government of President Bashar Assad and various insurgent groups.