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Libya announces joint ceasefire, calls for elections

admin2020-08-24environment250
ThetruceaimstomakeSirteatemporaryseatforanewpresidentialcounciltobeguardedbypolice

The truce aims to make Sirte a temporary seat for a new presidential council to be guarded by police forces from various regions in the country.

Libya announces joint ceasefire, calls for elections Libya announces joint ceasefire, calls for elections environment Libya's UN-recognised Government of National Accord announced a ceasefire and ordered the military to stop all combat operations. August 21, 2020. (AA)

Libya’s UN-supported government has announced a ceasefire across the country and has called for demilitarising the contested strategic city of Sirte, which is controlled by rival forces.

The Tripoli-seated Government of National Accord (GNA) said that the "ceasefire requires the areas of Sirte and al Jufra to be demilitarised within security arrangements."

In a separate statement, Aguila Saleh from warlord Khalifa Haftar's side, also called for a ceasefire.

He said the truce will make Sirte a temporary seat for a new presidential council to be guarded by police forces from various regions in the country.

Both administrations called for an end to an oil blockade imposed by Haftar's militia since earlier this year.

The Tripoli-based government also called for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held in March.

The UN Support Mission in Libya welcomed both statements, and called for the expulsion of all foreign forces and mercenaries in Libya.

???? #Breaking:#Libya’s gov, the #GNA, issues instructions to all military units to immediately ceasefire and suspend all military operations.
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** Did #Turkey and #Russia reach an agreement? This can be read as an indicator that this is the case. pic.twitter.com/KS6YuuFw0o

— Dr. Ali Bakeer (@AliBakeer) August 21, 2020

Split after Gaddafi

The country has since split between east and west, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments.

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. 

The GNA was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by militia loyal to warlord Haftar.

Haftar's militia launched an offensive in April 2019 trying to capture the capital Tripoli. 

But his campaign collapsed in June when the Tripoli-allied militias, with Turkish support, gained the upper hand, driving his forces from the outskirts of Tripoli and other western towns.

The UN Support Mission in Libya welcomed both statements, and called for the expulsion of all foreign forces and mercenaries in Libya.

The UN recognises the government headed by premier Fayez al Sarraj as the country's legitimate authority, as Tripoli has battled Haftar's militias since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

READ MORE: Turkey, Libya and Qatar agree on signing military deal

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