Libyan forces loyal to Haftar announce conditional ceasefire

pCloud Premium

Fighters in eastern Libya loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar announced on Saturday a ceasefire in the western region, which includes the capital Tripoli, starting 00:01 am on Sunday (22:01 GMT) conditioned on acceptance by their rivals, a spokesman said.

Forces loyal to Haftar have been battling forces aligned with the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) since April with the aim of capturing Tripoli.

More:

The LNA on Thursday rebuffed a call by Turkey and Russia for the warring parties to declare a ceasefire amid clashes and air strikes in a conflict drawing increasing foreign involvement and concern.

Merkel meets Putin to discuss Middle East crisis

However, LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari said in a video statement late on Saturday that LNA accepted a truce in the west “provided that the other party abides by the ceasefire.”

He warned that “any breach will be met with a harsh response”.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) welcomed the truce and urged the warring parties “to strictly abide by the ceasefire and make a room for peaceful efforts to address all disputes through a Libyan-Libyan dialogue”.

Turkey backs the Tripoli-based GNA headed by Fayez al-Serraj, while Russian military contractors have been deployed alongside the eastern forces.

A senior GNA official said on Thursday that it welcomed any credible ceasefire proposal but had a duty to protect Libyans from Haftar’s offensive.

Any ceasefire will probably be hard to uphold after a recent escalation in fighting around Tripoli and the strategic coastal city of Sirte and given the fractious, loose nature of Libya’s military alliances.

Forces loyal to Haftar said this week they had taken control of Sirte in a rapid advance preceded by air strikes.

Earlier on Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Libyan peace talks would be held in Berlin, adding that Libya’s warring parties would need to play a major role to help find a solution.

SOURCE: Reuters news agency

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/libyan-forces-loyal-haftar-announce-conditional-ceasefire-200112004206081.html

pCloud Premium

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.