Published: January 12, 2020
Libyan National Army Agrees to Ceasefire, Says Conditional to GNA Commitment
Supporters of Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar gather in Benghazi on January 3, 2020. (Reuters)
The Libyan National Army (LNA) announced late on Saturday a ceasefire in the western region, including Tripoli, conditional with the other warring party’s commitment to the truce.
LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari warned that “any breach will be met with a harsh response”.
The LNA, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, had on Thursday rebuffed a call by Turkey and Russia for a ceasefire in a conflict that is drawing increasing foreign involvement and concern.
The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) early on Sunday said it agreed to the truce.
In a statement posted online, it said: “In response to the Turkish president and the Russian president’s call for a ceasefire, the head of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord announces a ceasefire starting 00:00 on Jan. 12.”
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”.
Any ceasefire will likely 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 the LNA 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 will be held in Berlin, adding that Libya’s warring parties would need to play a major role to help find a solution. source