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Libya rivals agree on roadmap towards implementing ceasefire

November 4, 2020 at 2:35 pm

A tank belonging to forces loyal to Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), the opposing forces to renegade General Khalifa Haftar, seen on 21 November 2016 [MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images]

Rival sides in the Libyan conflict have agreed on a roadmap of measures to be taken to implement a ceasefire, the United Nations has announced.

According to the UN’s acting envoy to Libya Stephanie Williams, the Libyan government and the rival Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar agreed in a meeting yesterday to “establish a military subcommittee to oversee the withdrawal of military forces to their respective bases and the departure of foreign forces from the front lines.”

The joint military commission also agreed to “meet in Sirte as soon as possible,” making the key central Libyan city the headquarters from where they would conduct negotiations and establish future deals.

The agreement comes after the two sides announced an immediate ceasefire last month, following Haftar’s defeat in his offensive on the capital city of Tripoli earlier this year and the government’s pushback of his forces.

The UN-recognised government, backed by Turkey, initially aimed to capture the cities of Sirte and Jufra – areas rich in oil – in order to have more leverage in following negotiations, but those attempts were unsuccessful.

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Currently, the meeting place between officials of the government and Haftar take place in the remote desert oasis of Ghadames, which is around 465 kilometres (290 miles) south-west of Tripoli and far away from the power centres of both sides.

This latest ceasefire comes after numerous others were broken in recent months following Haftar’s defeat, and is more specific in its demands such as the withdrawal of all mercenary forces from the country within three months.