Libya : Warring Factions Announce Ceasefire

The move experts say paves the way for dialogue and renew hopes for elusive peace.

Libya’s warring factions have announced a nationwide ceasefire, renewing hopes for peace in the country. In two separate communiques signed on Friday, August 21, 2020, the head of Tripoli-based government, Faye al-Sarrj announced an end to hostilities and called for the demilitarization of the contested strategic city of Sirte, while Aguila Saleh speaker of the east-based parliament backed by military strongman Khalifa Hafter followed suit with a ceasefire call and an end to oil blockade imposed earlier this year.


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The ceasefire which is a major surprise to many observers has been welcomed by the international community with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose country had planned to deploy troops in Libya hailing the announcement by rival authorities, "this decision is an important step on the way to a political settlement and the restoration of stability" in the country. On the French side, it is a "positive step", but "which must materialize on the ground". An "understanding" which is also welcomed by the United Nations, as the growing internationalization of the conflict raised fears of an increase in the intensity of the fighting in the country. The Arab League also welcomed the "global agreement" which would put an end to the presence of "mercenaries and foreign forces in Libya". 


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Though the gesture may seem like an outstretched hand, the proposals of the two Libyan rivals are not identical. Reasons why Jalel Harchaoui, from the Clingendael Institute, a Dutch think tank is calling for a lot of caution and not see the announcement of the two factions as “lasting peace agreement and regained stability in the country”.


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