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Issue #1930      August 31, 2020

Immediate ceasefire announced in Libya

An immediate ceasefire was announced by Libya’s rival administrations yesterday, with the United Nations-backed government of national accord (GNA) calling for elections to be held in march next year.

In a statement, GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj said that he had “issued instructions to all military forces to immediately cease fire and all combat operations in all Libyan territories.”

Aguila Saleh, the Speaker of the Tobruk-based parliament, which supports the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Khalifa Hiftar, also backed the ceasefire.

The truce was welcomed by the UN, whose arms embargo on Libya has been frequently breached.

The GNA has the backing of countries including Italy and Qatar, while Turkey has flooded the country with thousands of jihadists to fight on the frontline against the LNA [Lybian National Army].

Gen Hiftar enjoys the support of Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. France denies supporting the LNA, although French-made weapons have been found in its former bases.

Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 NATO-backed ousting and murder of long-standing leader Colonel Muammar Gadaffi.

Two parallel governments emerged: the GNA in the capital Tripoli and the parliament in Tobruk, which controls much of the south and east of Libya.

Morning Star

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