Politics & Economics

Ceasefire In Libya Following Talks On Shaky Ground Following Violations

North Africa

The two warring factions of Libya, the GNA and LNA, have agreed to a ceasefire agreement earlier last week, with plans for it to start on Saturday night. However, the ceasefire has since been violated, with both sides blaming each other.

With the conflict in Libya seemingly escalating and threatening to draw in not only local and regional powers but global ones as well, diplomatic effortsare underway to find the country’s two governments, the United Nations-led Government of National Accord (GNA) and the House of Representatives (HoR) Government led by Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA).

On Saturday 22:00 GMT, a ceasefire, brokered by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin came into force. It was hoped that the ceasefire, which received support from all major sides, would lead to peace talks.

Ahead of the ceasefire, the GNA stressed the importance of forming mechanisms to uphold the ceasefire, recommending the formation of military committees to this end while also suggesting UN’s involvement to monitor the ceasefire across Libya.

The LNA, for its part, was more sceptical. While accepting the ceasefire, the LNA warned against the GNA from violating it, warning that it would retaliate in the event of a violation.

Since the ceasefire came to effect, however, observers reported numerous instances of fighting around the capital, Tripoli, with the GNA and LNA blaming each other for the violations.

An LNA commander, Mabrouk al-Gazawi, claimed that the GNA forces had breached the truce in several areas and with several weapons.

The GNA, in turn, claimed that the LNA had violated the truce in the Salah al-Din and Wadi al-Rabia areas outside Tripoli.

For its part, the Turkish Ministry of Defence stated that the violations had been isolated. However, this version of events were contradicted by the statements of both the GNA and the LNA.

Despite the growing signs of the ceasefire failing, political efforts to end the conflict continue. The head of the LNA, Khalifa Haftar, is expected to meet with the Prime Minister of the GNA, Fayez al-Sarraj, in Moscow on Monday, with the hope that the two sides may sign a formal agreement with Russian and Turkish mediation.

Aguila Saleh, the de-facto Prime Minister of the HoR Government, is also expected to be present in Moscow. Speaking ahead of the talks on Monday, Sarraj called on all Libyans to “turn a page on the past”, “reject discord” and “close the ranks to move towards stability and peace”.