A new truce? Reopening of ceasefire talks in Libya

GNA and LNA-affiliated forces gather together near Tripoli International Airport on 3 June GNA and LNA-affiliated forces gather together near Tripoli International Airport on 3 June AFP

2 June 2020

The United Nations (U.N.) welcomes the agreement of the Libyan warring parties to resume talks over ceasefire

The two factions in the Libyan war, the UN-recognized Government of National Agreement (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj and the Libyan National Army (LNA) loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar, agreed on 2 June to resume the negotiations for ceasefire after a three-months suspension in February. All prior attempts to establish a ceasefire, including the most recent one made at the Conference of Berlin in January, failed since the fightings did not stop. 

A truce is necessary to stop the ongoing escalation of violence. Infact, the recent military gains achieved by the GNA with the support of Turkey led the LNA forces to respond with the recapturing the town of Asaba, which will ensure them a better access to the city of Tarhouna, a strategic point in the supply line. The year-long battle for Tripoli risks to escalate to the point of throwing Libya into complete disarray.

Therefore, the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed this development with the hope that the two parties will constructively engage in the negotiations. U.N. Mission in Libya has seen in the possibility of holding a new round of ceasefire negotiations a positive signal of the progressive relaxation of the tensions, which would give breath to the country, especially at times when the COVID pandemic is consistently impacting the Libyan war-torn health system. Thus, the U.N. acting envoy Stephanie Williams and the U.N. Mission will discuss with the GNA and the LNA about future steps and logistical aspects of the talks. 

 

To know more, please read:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/06/libya-warring-sides-agree-restart-ceasefire-talks-200602082543712.html

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/06/02/world/europe/ap-un-united-nations-libya.html

 

Author: Giulia Azzarone

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