Libya rivals smoke the peace pipe

Libya's rival leaders met to resolve conflict. Photo by Reuters

Libya’s rival leaders met to resolve conflict. Photo by Reuters

from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) THERE is renewed hope for peace in Libya after the warring parties reached some agreements during talks held in Switzerland this past weekend.

The rivals met under the auspices of the Libyan 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) which had started on Monday last week.

The commission constitutes one of the three intra-Libyan entities, the other being the economic and political organs.

Ghassan Salame, the Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) presided over the talks.

He welcomed the consensus around the importance of maintaining the truce that had been announced on January 12 and of the necessity to respect it and refrain from violating it.

The rivals – comprising the Government of National Accord and Libya National Army (LNA)- also committed to stop foreign interference and the flow of non-Libyan fighters into the country.

They pledged to fight against the terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, and Ansar al-Sharia, which are taking advantage of the anarchy.

“UNSMIL also notes the widespread consensus between both sides with regard to the urgency for Libyans to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their country,” Salame said.

Both sides expressed their support to ongoing exchanges of prisoners and returns of mortal remains.

As both sides agreed to the need to continue the negotiations in order to reach a comprehensive ceasefire agreement, UNSMIL has proposed February 18 as the date for a new round of talks.

Libya has been in crisis since the overthrown and murder of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Tensions worsened last year when the LNA launched an offensive against the internationally recognised government in the capital, Tripoli.

– CAJ News