Libya Peace Conference Calls for Civil War Ceasefire

  • The pact was sealed at the Berlin Conference, organized by the German government in collaboration with the UN.
  • The meeting was the first time that all the relevant actors in the conflict met.
  • The signed agreement outlines that a solution to the crisis can only be achieved through a political process controlled and led by Libyans.

International allies of the Libyan government, supported by the United Nations, and rebel forces led by General Khalifa Haftar agreed on Sunday to respect a ceasefire initiated a week ago, and an arms embargo imposed by the UN Security Council. World leaders are hoping for a way out of the civil war that has plagued the country for five years.

Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj is the Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and prime minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya that was formed as a result of the Libyan Political Agreement signed on 17 December 2015.

The pact was sealed at the Berlin Conference, organized by the German government in collaboration with the UN. The meeting was the first time that all the relevant actors in the conflict met. Among those present were the Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, supported by Turkey, and Haftar, a strongman from the east of the country, leading the self-titled Libyan National Army (LNA), with support from Russia.

German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference that there was no military way to end the conflict, “only a political solution.” Despite the optimism, Merkel said she was aware that the agreement does not solve all the country’s problems. According to Merkel, the result of the meeting is a chance for the parties to the conflict to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Merkel stressed that the arms embargo must be fully enforced to be effective.

For the signed agreement to be internationally valid, it will be taken to the UN Security Council. The document, signed by 16 states and organizations, is committed to the establishment of a “lasting and verifiable” truce, in addition to asking that all actors involved comply with the arms embargo and do not contribute to an escalation of the conflict in Libya. The signed agreement outlines that a solution to the crisis can only be achieved through a political process controlled and led by Libyans. In addition, it’s goal is also to maintain Libya’s territorial unity and national sovereignty.

Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar is a Libyan-American military officer and the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), which, under Haftar’s leadership, replaced nine elected municipal councils by military administrators, and as of May 2019, was engaged in the Second Libyan Civil War.

The conference had the merit of bringing together, for the first time, all the national and international actors involved in the conflict in the North African country, especially since Germany is a mediator without major direct interests in the country. The presidents of France, Emmanuel Macron, Russia, Vladimir Putin, Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Egypt, Abdul Fatah al Sisi, were present. The Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and Italy, Giuseppe Conte, also traveled to Berlin. The United States was represented by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

After the summit, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced that “all participants have pledged to renounce interference in the armed conflict or in Libya’s internal issues.” General Haftar has military support from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as political support from France and the USA. The European Union politically and financially supports Al-Sarraj, who is also supported by the UN, Italy and Qatar, in addition to receiving military aid from Turkey.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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