Libya: UN envoy “quite optimistic” on the possibility of a ceasefire

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Geneva | The UN special envoy for Libya said she was “quite optimistic” Wednesday on the possibility of a lasting ceasefire after two days of face-to-face negotiations between the conflicting parties in Geneva.

I am “quite optimistic”, said Stephanie Williams, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (Manul), at a press conference, on the possibility of l establishment of a lasting ceasefire.

Ms Williams bases her sentiment on the atmosphere of “seriousness and commitment” which she says characterized the first face-to-face discussions of the joint Libyan military commission, representing the two warring parties, which began on Monday at the Palais des nations of Geneva.

Ms. Williams announced several concrete agreements such as the opening of the country’s main land routes as well as that of certain internal airways, which should alleviate the very difficult situation of the civilian populations.

Libya has been plagued by violence and power struggles since the fall of Muammar Gadhafi’s regime in 2011.

Two authorities are currently competing for power: the Government of National Unity (GNA, recognized by the UN) in the West, based in the capital Tripoli, and the powerful Marshal Khalifa Haftar in the East.

Confirmed at the international summit on January 19, 2020 in Berlin, the joint military commission must define the conditions for a lasting ceasefire, with withdrawal of military positions.

This is one of the three paths pursued in parallel by Manul, with the economic and political aspects.

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