Rival administrations in Libya back ceasefire, call for elections

Aguila Saleh’s statement said the ceasefire “should make Sirte the temporary headquarters of the new presidential council.”
Friday 21/08/2020
A May 2018 file picture shows (L to R) Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the LNA, Aguila Saleh, speaker of the eastern-based parliament, and Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the Tripoli-based GNA, attending an International Congress on Libya at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (AFP)
A May 2018 file picture shows (L to R) Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the LNA, Aguila Saleh, speaker of the eastern-based parliament, and Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the Tripoli-based GNA, attending an International Congress on Libya at th

TRIPOLI - Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) announced a ceasefire across the country and called for demilitarising the contested strategic locations of Sirte and the Jufra region.

A call for a ceasefire was also issued in a separate statement by Aguila Saleh, speaker of the rival Tobruk-based House of Representatives, which is loyal to the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The GNA statement said “instructions were given to all military forces to immediately cease fire and stop hostilities across all Libyan territory.”

It also called for early presidential and parliamentary elections next march based on “an adequate constitutional platform agreed upon among Libyans”.

Saleh’s statement said the ceasefire “should make Sirte the temporary headquarters of the new presidential council, which should bring all Libyans together.” The capital should be “secured by an official police force form all regions of the country in preparation for unifying state institutions,” it added.

It called on all parties to “turn the page of the past, build the state based on an electoral process in accordance with the constitution” and launch a process of “comprehensive national reconciliation.”

The two Libyan administrations called for an end to an oil blockade imposed by rival forces since earlier this year.

The GNA called  for “the resumption of oil production and exports “with oil revenues managed based on “comprehensive political arrangements,” in compliance with Berlin conference agreements and under UN supervision.

Saleh’s statement echoed the GNA’s call to resume oil production.

Regional diplomatic sources described the ceasefire announcements as a positive development but cautioned against undue optimism about the prospect of holding free and fair elections based on past experience in Libya.