«A good Day for the Libyan people» - Libyan conflict parties sign truce
Geneva (23 October) - The Libyan conflict parties have signed on Friday in Geneva a countrywide, and permanent ceasefire agreement with immediat effect. The negotiations took place under the auspices of the UN.
Annegret Mathari, Geneva
«This is a good day for the Libyan people», said Stephanie Williams in Geneva, the Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya. «The agreement was facilitated by the United Nations and we signed it as witnesses», she added.
According to Williams the parties agreed also that all military units and armed groups on the frontlines shall return to their camps. This shall be accompanied by the departure of all mercenaries and foreign fighters from all Libyan territories – land, air and sea – within three months. The parties agreed to establish a mechanism to monitor, jointly with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.
The two parties – the 10 members to the Libyan 5+5 Joint Military Commission - also reconfirmed their committment to implement confidence building measures (CBMs) agreed some days ago with regard to the full opening of land and air routes throughout Libya, Willams said. A first commercial passenger flight in more than a year crossed front lines from Tripoli to Benghazi in the east of the country on Friday. The two parties agreed to CBMs also related to facilitate the exchange of detainees and the restructuring of the Petroleum Facilities Guards.
International Community must do its part
Williams noted, that the international community must also do its part by fully respecting and supporting this Libyan-Libyan ceasefire agreement which was reached under the authority of Security Council Resolution 2510 (2020) and the outcomes of the Berlin Conference. “This includes full respect for the principle of non-interference in Libya’s internal affairs and full implementation of the UN arms embargo on Libya”, Williams said.
There are two rival powers in Libya, the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, recognized by the United Nations, and the authorities in the East, aligned to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and supported by a part of the elected parliament and its Speaker Aguila Saleh.
Both parties have international supporters. The GNA of Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the Presidential Council of Libya, is mainly backed by Turkey and Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia. All these countries provided the Libyan conflict parties with weapons and fighters, despite a U.N. arms embargo which they all publicly backed.
From April 2019 to June 2020 Haftar tried to conquer Tripoli. Last June the GNA troops had beaten back Haftar’s LNA - with military support by Turkey. And in August al-Sarraj and Saleh announced the cessation of hostilities. The frontlines have been stabilised near the central coastal city of Sirte. The LNA then finally ended its blockade of Libyan oil output after eight months, which was stalling the state finances on both sides. According to Williams there are some indications that the oil installations of Ras Lanuf and Sidra will be ready to resume production in the near future.