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UPDATED: Libya’s Tripoli-based government declares ceasefire

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Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), which is internationally recognised but controls only the western part of the country, announced a ceasefire on Friday, a statement from its leadership said.

The GNA has been locked in conflict with east-Libyan based forces led by veteran commander Khalifa Haftar, who launched a 14-month offensive on Tripoli before Turkish support for the GNA forced him to retreat in June.

GNA head Fayez al-Sarraj “issued instructions to all military forces to immediately cease fire and all combat operations in all Libyan territories”, a statement said.

Previous efforts to secure lasting ceasefires have stalled.

There was no immediate comment from Haftar or his Libyan National Army (LNA), though the head of an eastern-based parliament that is aligned with Haftar issued a statement appealing for an end to hostilities across the country.

The LNA is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia. International intervention in Libya has deepened since the LNA offensive began in April 2019.

The GNA appealed in its statement for the LNA to lift a blockade on oil facilities that has all but halted the country’s output, saying revenue should be held in a special account and only be released after a political deal was reached. 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi welcomed ceasefire calls of Libyan warring parties on Friday, the presidency said in a statement.

Tripoli-based, internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) announced a ceasefire on Friday and the Eastern-based Libyan parliament called for an immediate ceasefire.

Sisi praised both ceasefire calls as “an important step on the road to achieving a political settlement”. 

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