Libya: Turning The Truce Into A Permanent Ceasefire

North Africa

Ghassan Salamé, head of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), has stated that the warring parties in Libya are willing to discuss a genuine ceasefire.

Representatives from the two main warring sides in the civil conflict in Libya have met this week in Geneva for talks surrounding a possible strengthening of the truce that has been in place since 12 January.

The Libya Joint Military Commission has been formed as a body with 10 members, five chosen by Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the Government of National Accord (GNA), based in the capital Tripoli and five appointed by Khalifa Haftar, who leads the Libyan National Army (LNA), the military wing of the government based in the east of the country.

Head of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salamé, has stated that there is a genuine will on the part of the warring sides to reach a lasting agreement. This has thus far been far from the case, with several ceasefire agreements having been signed and broken over the past year.

“The two parties have expressed their agreement that the truce should be converted into a permanent ceasefire agreement. Thus, the same principle had been adopted since the first session”, stated Salamé.

The conflict recently took an escalatory turn as the LNA has advanced further towards Tripoli into GNA-held areas, committing violations of the truce agreement signed in January. The GNA, on the other hand, has recently received military support from Turkey, adding to the already complicated network of foreign actors involved in the Libya conflict on either side.

The UN has reprimanded both sides for making use of external support to bolster their political goals. Salamé has specifically criticised the support given by Turkey to the GNA and the UAE to the LNA.

Neighbouring Algeria and Tunisia have also recently come out with statements criticising the foreign interference in Libyan affairs. Algerian president Abdelmadjid Tebboune has offered to mediate the conflict at the regional level.