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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN calls on 'monitors' to oversee Libya ceasefire

Libyans gather during the funeral of fighters loyal to the GNA [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 January, 2021

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The United Nations has called on regional 'monitors' to observe the fragile ceasefire between the GNA and Khalifa Haftar's forces.
The United Nations is calling on regional "monitors" to oversee the fragile ceasefire recently brokered between the internationally-recognised Government of International Accord in Libya, and Khalifa Haftar's forces.

The UN has pushed for Libya to form a unity government and create a legitimate system for electing a prime minister.
UN Secretary general Antonio Guterres wrote a letter to member states asking for regional blocs to nominate monitors for the ceasefire.

In addition such monitors are also called upon to oversee the UN arms embargo which has been broken by both Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

The warring sides, who reached a ceasefire on October 23 in Geneva, both want to avoid armed and uniformed foreign troops, Guterres said.

"I call on all national, regional and international stakeholders to respect the provisions of the ceasefire agreement and ensure its implementation without delay," Guterres said in the letter dated Tuesday.

"I encourage member states and regional organizations to support the operationalization of the ceasefire mechanism, including by providing individual monitors under the auspices of the United Nations."

This comes after senior Egyptian diplomats visited Tripoli to meet with GNA leaders – the first of its kind since 2014.

According to the interior ministry, the talks covered "mutual security challenges and ways to enhance security cooperation", as well as ways to support a ceasefire signed in October between Libya's rival sides under the auspices of the UN.

"The voices of diplomacy have temporarily won in Cairo and the Egyptians need to rebuild their links with the GNA," said Peter Millett, a former British ambassador to Libya told the Guardian.

"There have always been divisions in Cairo between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which favours a politically negotiated solution and the military, which backed Haftar and worked with the Emiratis. The military option hasn’t worked and the diplomatic approach has been given a chance again."

Turkey and Qatar have supported the GNA, while Haftar's LNA is backed by Russia, the UAE, Egypt, among others.

Libya descended into turmoil in 2011 after a NATO-backed military ouster of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

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