UN announces "immediate" ceasefire in Libya

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The parties to the conflict in Libya signed a national and permanent ceasefire in Geneva on Friday with "immediate effect", after five days of discussions organized under the aegis of the UN.

The ceasefire was concluded between the Government of National Accord (GEN), in place in Tripoli and recognized by the international community, and the Libyan National Army (LNA) of Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the strongman of eastern Libya.

It takes effect so immediate, said Stephanie Williams, the envoy toUN for Libya, after the signing of the agreement in Geneva.

It is a comprehensive and permanent national agreement with immediate effect.

Stephanie Williams, Acting Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (Manul)

The ceasefire must also be accompanied by the departure from Libya of mercenaries and foreign fighters within a maximum period of three months from today.

Ms. Williams also mentioned the establishment of a joint police force that will be responsible for patrolling the contested areas.

Stephanie Williams.

The ceasefire takes effect "immediately," said Stephanie Williams, UN envoy to Libya.

Photo: Getty Images / FABRICE COFFRINI

A political dialogue this time is due to begin on November 9 in Tunis.

But there is still no clear signal that the warring Libyans see this as anything other than a new period of postures and positioning that should allow them to dominate each other in the next coming phase of the transition., says Tarek Megerisi, specialist in North Africa and Middle East issues at the European Council on International Relations.

The signing of the ceasefire agreement coincides with a symbolic first: for the first time in more than a year, an airliner has made a flight between Tripoli – where the headquarters of the GEN – and Benghazi, the capital of Cyrenaica, in the east of the country, a stronghold ofANL.

A cautiously welcomed agreement

The European Union (EU) welcomes this announcement by recalling that its implementation is also important.

We know very well that the implementation will be more difficult than the negotiations on this agreement.

Peter Stano, spokesperson for the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell
Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Photo: Associated Press

TheEU intends to appoint a special representative to accompany the political process in Libya. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country is considered a key player in Libya, has doubts about the viability of the ceasefire.

Today's ceasefire agreement was not reached at the highest level, but at a lower levelErdogan told reporters in Istanbul.

To me, (this deal) seems to lack credibility.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

President Erdogan also drew a parallel between the situation in Libya and that in Nagorno-Karabakh. A ceasefire has also been declared between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Did the Armenians keep their word? No. Hopefully (the fate of this deal) will not be similar and that the ceasefire will be respected, added Erdogan.

Libya fell into chaos in 2011 after the fall and death of Muammar Gaddafi.

Since then, the government of Tripoli and theANL of Marshal Haftar are fighting for control of the country, with the support of foreign powers.

With information from Reuters, and Agence France-Presse

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