United Nations envoy: Libyan military factions ready to negotiate in Geneva

Elias Hubbard
February 5, 2020

"These talks in Geneva are meant to listen carefully to the position of the two sides on what are the conditions for them to accept this translation of the truce into a permanent and lasting ceasefire", said Ghassan Salamé, special representative of the UN secretary-general and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

"They committed not to interfere in the Libyan process and they committed not to send weapons or participate in any way in the fighting", Guterres said at the United Nations headquarters in NY.

"Therefore, we believe that the arms embargo is being violated by both parties".

He called the mediation efforts of United Nations envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame "the only good news" there.

The so-called "Libyan Joint Military Commission" includes five senior officers from eastern commander Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) and five officers aligned with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

Salamé warned that the chance of the situation deteriorating further persisted despite a call for a truce in early January by the presidents of Russian Federation and Turkey.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and worldwide recognition.

Transforming the truce "into a more solid one, less often violated by either side" is being discussed, said Salame, who is hoping to reach "a real agreement on a lasting ceasefire".

The conflict that developed in Libya in the years since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011 has given space to militants and migrant smugglers and crippled Libya's oil reliant economy.

The United Nations says weapons and fighters have continued to enter Libya since the Berlin meeting, and groups loyal to Haftar have imposed a blockade on major oil ports and fields that has shut off most of Libya oil production.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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