By Adam Kwafi.
Benghazi, 4 August 2014:
Tribal leaders from eastern Libya who three days ago demanded a ceasefire between the warring parties in Benghazi have, after . . .[restrict]a further meeting on Saturday, set out the terms for peace in the city.
These are that the two sides:
- Quit their camps and strongholds and leave Benghazi;
- Recognise the legitimacy of Parliament (the House of Representatives) and submit to its authority;
- Do not attack or hijack military or civilian aircraft;
- Lay down all arms;
- Stop the destruction of power stations and hospitals; and
- Lift blockades on besieged areas and allow residents to return to their homes.
The grouping of elders, calling themselves a Senate of Tribal Chiefs and Notables, claims that the ceasefire is working.
There has certainly been little in the way of violence in the city between Ansar Al-Sharia and its allies on one side and Operation Dignity forces on the other in the past two days. Apart from some explosions on the Airport Road at around midnight last night, the city was quiet yesterday with no shooting, and is quite again today.
It is not clear, however, if this is because of the deal, which has the active backing of Benghazi Municipal Council, or because of Friday’s massive demonstrations against Ansar Al-Sharia, or because both sides are exhausted and realise they cannot win by force.
According to one of the Senate members, Sadek Harari who invited the Libya Herald to attend its meeting, the group has continued its negotiations with both the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council (the umbrella organisation linking Ansar and its allies) and the Operation Dignity forces, in order to ensure the violence that has ravaged Benghazi in recent days stops permanently.
He added that it also expressed its sorrow over the conflict taking place in Tripoli. It would support the residents of the capital as they sought to put an end to the destruction and killing that has resulted from the recent clashes there, he said.