The rival parties in Libya, which reached a ceasefire agreement just after midnight, have already this afternoon accused each other of violating that ceasefire. In the vicinity of the capital, there are reports of gunfire and fighting.
General Khalifa Haftar’s forces announced a ceasefire just before midnight yesterday. A spokesman for General Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) warned the government’s rival forces in Tripoli of a ‘hard reply’ if the ceasefire was violated.
The Government of National Unity (GNA) of leader Fayez al-Sarraj, recognized by the United Nations (UN), confirmed the ceasefire from Sunday, January 12, just after midnight. He did emphasize that his troops have the right to “answer any aggressive attack that would come from the other camp.” The GNA accepts the cease-fire at the request of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Shortly after midnight, artillery fire could still be heard in the center of Tripoli, but immediately after that, it became silent according to eyewitnesses. This afternoon there were accusations on both sides that the truce was being violated. There would have been fights on more than one place in the vicinity of Tripoli.
Intermediate station for African migrants
The European Union also recently stepped up its efforts to reach a political solution to violence in Libya through diplomatic channels. The importance of conflict cannot be underestimated.
Libya is an important intermediate station for African migrants trying to reach Europe, but also houses abundant oil and gas supplies. Because of that strategic importance, the rival camps are attracting the support of various countries, which risk getting into a proxy war in the North African country, just like in Syria.