Libya’s warring parties agree to truce talks

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Libya’s warring parties have agreed to restart ceasefire talks after weeks of intense fighting near the capital Tripoli, the United Nations mission to the country said late on Monday.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said it welcomed their plan to resume talks “based on earlier so-called 5+5 meetings, involving five senior officers appointed by each side.”

The eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar has been waging an offensive since April 2019 to seize the capital Tripoli, seat of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

In recent weeks, the GNA, supported by Turkey, said it has “driven the LNA out of several areas of the northwest and much of its foothold in the capital.”

However, the LNA backed by the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt, said it had taken back some areas on Monday.

Two ceasefires were already agreed on this year, but shelling and fighting still continued following the resignation of UN envoy Ghassan Salame in March.

Meanwhile, foreign intervention in Libya has raised the stakes in the fighting with a flow of more powerful weapons.

Last week, the United States said Russia had flown at least 14 fighter jets to an LNA air base in central Libya.

 

Olajumoke Adeleke