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Libya: Presidential Council chairman takes part in Joint Military Committee meetings

Presidential Council, Mohamed al-Menfi makes a statement following his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Presidential Palace on March 23 in Paris, France [Chesnot/Getty Images]
Presidential Council, Mohamed al-Menfi on March 23 in Paris, France [Chesnot/Getty Images]

Libya's (5+5) Joint Military Committee (JMC) resumed its meetings in Sirte on Tuesday, with the participation of Mohamed Al-Menfi, the head of the Presidential Council, and UN envoy for Libya Jan Kubis, Anadolu has reported.

A source within the Council said that the JMC meetings began yesterday, and confirmed that Al-Menfi and Kubis were present. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source added that two delegations of the 5+5 committee welcomed Al-Menfi at Ghardabiya Airbase on his arrival in Sirte.

The JMC will discuss issues including the opening of the Misrata-Sirte coast road linking the east and west regions and the issue of the evacuation of foreign mercenaries from Libya. The militia of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar includes mercenaries affiliated with different parties, most notably the Russian Wagner Company. They fought in the militia's ranks during Haftar's unsuccessful offensive to take the Libyan capital, Tripoli, launched in April 2019.

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The JMC is made up of five members from the legitimate Libyan government, and five delegates representing Haftar's militia. On 6 February, it agreed to clear mines from Sirte and the main roads leading to it, in preparation for the reopening of the Misrata-Sirte road.

Libya has been embroiled in an armed conflict for ten years. Haftar's militia challenged the internationally-recognised government over legitimacy and authority in the oil-rich country. The warring parties agreed on last October to a ceasefire sponsored by the UN, which Haftar's forces violate occasionally.

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