Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
 
 
Cease-Fire Signed in Libya    10/23 06:30

   

   GENEVA (AP) -- The United Nations said Friday that the two sides in Libyan 
military talks had reached a "historic achievement" with a permanent cease-fire 
agreement across the war-torn North African country.

   After mediation this week led by U.N. envoy for Libya Stephanie Turco 
Williams, the 5+5 Joint Military Commission reached what the U.N. called an 
"important turning point towards peace and stability in Libya."

   Details were not immediately available, but the two sides were taking part 
in a signing ceremony in Geneva on Friday morning.

   Libya is split between a U.N.-supported government in the capital, Tripoli, 
and rival authorities based in the east. The two sides are backed by an array 
of local militias as well as regional and foreign powers. The country was 
plunged into chaos after the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed 
longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

   "The road to a permanent cease-fire deal was often long and difficult," 
Williams, a former U.S. State Department official, said in Arabic at the 
signing ceremony.

   "Before us is a lot of work in the coming days and weeks in order to 
implement the commitments of the agreement," she said. "It is essential to 
continue work as quickly as possible in order to alleviate the many problems 
due to this conflict facing the Libyan people."

   "We have to give people hope of a better future," Williams added. She 
expressed hope the agreement will succeed "in ending the suffering of Libyans 
and allowing those displaced by the conflict to return to their homes."

   Ali Abushahma, the head of the delegation and a field commander for the 
U.N.-supported administration in Tripoli, said: "We have had enough suffering, 
enough bloodshed ... We hope we will change the suffering on all the 
territories of Libya, especially in the south."

   "I appeal to all Libya: Be one hand," he said, warning about polarization by 
factions.

   The meetings this week mark the fourth round of talks involving the Joint 
Military Commission under Williams' watch. The Geneva-based military talks come 
ahead of a political forum in Tunisia in November. That forum aims to "generate 
consensus on a unified governance framework and arrangements that will lead to 
the holding of national elections," the U.N. mission said.

   On Wednesday, Williams had said the two warring factions agreed on issues 
that "directly impact the lives and welfare of the Libyan people," citing 
agreements to open air and land routes in the country, to work to ease 
inflammatory rhetoric in Libyan media, and to help kickstart Libya's vital oil 
industry.

   Libya's prized light crude has long featured in the country's civil war, 
with rival militias and foreign powers jostling for control of Africa's largest 
oil reserves.

   Last month, the two sides reached preliminary agreements to exchange 
prisoners and open up air and land transit across the country's divided 
territory. This breakthrough also accompanied the resumption of oil production 
after a months-long blockade by powerful tribes allied with military commander 
Khalifa Hifter, the leader of the eastern-based forces.

   Hifter's forces launched an offensive in April 2019 to try and capture 
Tripoli, the seat of the U.N.-supported government in the west. But his 
campaign collapsed in June.

   Fighting has since died down amid international pressure on both sides to 
avert an attack on the strategic city of Sirte, the gateway to Libya's major 
oil export terminals.

 
Mont Eagle Mills, Inc. | Copyright 2020
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN