Middle East, Africa

UN urges Libyan rivals to abide by cease-fire

Cease-fire took effect at midnight local time Sunday

Mahmoud Barakat   | 14.01.2020
UN urges Libyan rivals to abide by cease-fire

ANKARA 

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Tuesday called on warring sides in the country to continue to abide by the cease-fire announced recently.

"For the sake of civilians in Tripoli, hundreds of thousands who have fled their homes and 116,000 children unable to attend their classrooms, the United Nations urges the parties to continue to abide by the declared ceasefire," UNSMIL said on Twitter.

Renegade commander Khalifa Haftar and Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the UN-recognized government, accepted a joint call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for a cease-fire late Saturday.

The cease-fire took effect at midnight local time (2200GMT) on Sunday, and the decision was celebrated with fireworks in Tripoli.

UNSMIL urged the warring sides "to give ongoing diplomatic efforts an opportunity to reach a permanent cessation of military operations and a return to the political process".

On Tuesday, Haftar left Russia without signing a cease-fire deal with al-Sarraj, amid reports of amassing his forces to resume attacks on Tripoli.

In April, Haftar launched an offensive to capture Tripoli from the UN-recognized government. According to the UN, more than 1,000 people have been killed since the start of the operation and more than 5,000 others injured.

Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

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