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Libya's Haftar, GNA agree to hold ceasefire talks: UN

The two sides have already agreed on two failed ceasefires this year [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 June, 2020

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Mounting calls from Libyans calling for peace have prompted the two warring sides of the conflict to agree to another round of ceasefire talks, the UN said.

Libya's renegade commander Khalifa Haftar has agreed to restart ceasefire talks with Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord, the organisation's mission to the country said on Monday. 

The two warring sides have been locked in weeks of intense fighting near Tripoli, with the backing of international powers.

In a statement posted online, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said it welcomed the decision, which will see five senior officials from each side attending the talks.

"The United Nations Mission welcomes the parties in Libya accepting the resumption of the Joint Military Commission 5+5 talks," UNSMIL said on Twitter.

The UN body said the parties agreed to talks amid "calls by Libyans who want to have a dignified and safe life as soon as possible".

Haftar's eastern-based forces have been trying to seize the capital from the UN-supported government with an offensive that was launched last spring. 

In recent weeks the GNA has driven Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) out of several key areas near Tripoli.

However, on Monday, Ahmed al-Mosmari, an LNA spokesman said the geoup recaptured the town of al-Asabaa, about 50 kilometres south of Tripoli.

Two ceasefires have already been agreed this year, but both parties have accused one another of not adhering to such agreements while shelling and fighting continued. 

Read also: Is Libya on the road to de facto partition?

According to Reuters, peacemaking efforts became complicated following the resignation of UN envoy Ghassan Salame in March, while the Security Council has not yet agreed on a successor.

The LNA is backed by the UAE, Egypt and Russia, while the GNA-allied militias receives military support from Turkey.

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