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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Libya: Immediate ceasefire

After five days of talks at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, a ceasefire was signed by all the belligerents. Implementation of the agreement will certainly be a delicate matter. A new meeting of all the players will take place in early November in Tunisia.

The fourth round of talks on Libya enabled the parties involved in the conflict in Libya to sign, on Friday morning, a national and permanent ceasefire with "immediate effect". The talks were held under the aegis of the United Nations and the Joint Military Commission, made up of five members representing the GNA (UN-recognized government) and five others Marshal Haftar (backed by foreign forces). The result of five days of exchanges is considered "a historic achievement" by Stéphanie Williams, Deputy Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, and Acting Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). The signing ceremony took place in the Disarmament Room of the European Office of the United Nations (UNOG), in the presence of its Director General, Tatjana Valovaya.

Chaos since 2011

Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, Libya has been plunged into chaos and violence. The country is divided into two political and military entities. On the one hand, the UN-recognized Government of National Unity (GNA), based in Tripoli, and on the other, the eastern authorities allied with Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the strongman of the east supported by part of the elected parliament and its president, Aguila Saleh. Both camps are supported by foreign powers. Thus, the rival parties have agreed that all military units and armed groups on the front line must return to their camps. These movements will be accompanied by the departure of all mercenaries and foreign fighters from all Libyan territory, land, air and sea, within a maximum period of three months from October 23.

A crisis "that has gone on too long

The round of inter-Libyan negotiations in Switzerland got off to a good start on Wednesday, with a number of agreements reached, notably on the opening of land and air routes and on joint security arrangements. Stéphanie Williams declared that the signatories would have "lots and lots of work in the days and weeks ahead to implement the commitments of the agreement". A virtual meeting is scheduled for Monday October 26, and a further meeting will take place in Tunis around November 7. The UN official said that "future generations of Libyans will look back on today's agreement as a courageous and essential first step towards a comprehensive settlement of the Libyan crisis, which has lasted too long".