World powers urge Libya’s warring factions, their foreign backers to end fighting, embrace “a permanent ceasefire

Berlin  – World powers urged Libya’s warring factions and their foreign backers to end the fighting and establish “a permanent ceasefire”, following high-stakes peace talks in Berlin on Sunday.

“We call on all parties concerned to redouble their efforts for a sustained suspension of hostilities, de-escalation and a permanent ceasefire,” read a final communique agreed by the participants, which included the presidents of France, Russia and Turkey. AFP reported.

Participants at the peace summit on Libya also pledged not to interfere in Libya’s internal affairs.

The final communique said that international leaders agreed that the situation in Libya is threatening global peace and security and that the country has become “fertile ground for armed and terrorist groups.”

“All participants committed to refrain from interferences in the armed conflict or internal affairs in Libya,” UN chief Antonio Guterres said, while Chancellor Angela Merkel added that there was also "agreement that we want to respect a weapons embargo that will be strongly controlled."

World leaders including the presidents of Turkey, Russia, and France opened talks on Sunday at a summit hosted by Merkel aimed at ending the war in Libya.

Held under the auspices of the United Nations, the summit’s main goal is to get foreign powers wielding influence in the region to stop interfering in the war - be it through the supply of weapons, troops, or financing.

The agreement, signed by 16 states and organizations, also set out plans for international efforts to monitor the implementation of the restrictions after failed efforts to implement the embargo for almost a decade but without much success in the conflict-blighted country.

German  Merkel endorsed the declaration as she said: "We agreed on a comprehensive plan forward. I can say that all participants worked really constructively together."

"We all agree that we should respect the arms embargo, and that it should be controlled more strongly than it has been in the past," she said.

She added that the leaders who attended the summit had agreed to continue to hold additional meetings to ensure the process continues so that "the people in Libya get their right to a peaceful life."

World Powers Urge Permanent Ceasefire In Libya - UN Chief

Timeline of Libyan chaos since overthrow of Gadhafi in 2011

Oil-rich Libya has been mired in chaos since the ouster and killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, with two rival authorities and a multitude of militias now vying for control.

The country’s internationally recognized unity government is based in Tripoli while eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar supports a parallel administration based in the east.

Here is a timeline of the Mediterranean country’s descent into turmoil.

Gadhafi killed
Triggered by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, demonstrations erupt in Libya in February 2011. A coalition led by Washington, Paris and London lends its backing to an armed revolt.

Gadhafi, in power for 42 years, flees the capital but is captured and killed on October 20, 2011.

Three days later, the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) declares Libya’s “total liberation.”

In August 2012 the NTC hands power to a transitional authority, the General National Congress (GNC).

Embassies targeted

U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American staffer are killed in a Sept. 11, 2012 attack on their consulate in Libya’s second city Benghazi. An al-Qaida-linked jihadi group is blamed.

A car bomb in April 2013 targets France’s embassy in Tripoli, wounding two French guards.

Most foreign delegations withdraw.

Rival governments

Dissident army general Haftar launches an offensive in May 2014 against jihadi groups in Benghazi. He is backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Several military officers from the east join his self-styled Libyan National Army.

As nationalists and Islamists vie for power, legislative polls are held in June and a parliament is elected, dominated by anti-Islamists.

But Islamist-led militias contest the results and storm Tripoli in August, restoring the GNC to power.

The elected house, which has international recognition, takes refuge in the eastern city of Tobruk.

Thus the country finds itself with two governments and two parliaments.

After months of negotiations and international pressure, lawmakers from the rival parliaments sign an accord in December 2015 to set up a Government of National Accord (GNA), which is recognized by the U.N.

In March 2016 GNA chief Fayez al-Sarraj arrives in Tripoli to set up the new government. But Haftar’s rival administration refuses to recognise its authority.


In December 2016, the GNA announces forces it commands have ousted the Islamic State group from Gadhafi’s coastal hometown of Sirte.

In July 2017, Haftar announces the “total liberation” of Benghazi from jihadists.

Sarraj and Haftar meet in Paris in May 2018 and agree to work together for new elections. But divisions between them only deepen.

Haftar on the move

In January 2019, Haftar launches an offensive into oil-rich southern Libya, ostensibly aimed at wiping out “terrorists” and criminal groups.

His forces seize the region’s capital Sebha and one of the country’s main oil fields, without a fight.

In April, his forces begin an offensive to take Tripoli from the GNA. It results in clashes that leave more than 280 civilians and 2,000 fighters dead in nine months.

The conflict draws in other countries, with Turkey and Qatar supporting the GNA while Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates back Haftar.

Russia is reported to have sent mercenaries to support Haftar, although it denies the charges.

Today in Berlin peace summit, World powers pledged to “refrain from interference” in Libya’s war, vowing to uphold a UN weapons embargo.

(With DW and  AFP)

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