UNSMIL urges Libyans to seize truce to resume 5+5 Joint Military Talks

By Sami Zaptia.

London, 1 May 2020:

UNSMIL yesterday/today urged Libyan parties to seize upon calls for a truce to resume the 5+5 Geneva Joint Military Talks. UNSMIL’s call comes on the back of the unilateral humanitarian Ramadan ceasefire announced by Khalfa Hafter’s Libyan National Army (LNA) on Wednesday and on the back of its conditional rejection yesterday by the internationally recognized Libyan government in Tripoli.

The Tripoli government had said in its conditional rejection that any ceasefire would have to be guaranteed and monitored by UNSMIL in view of Hafter’s ‘‘treachery and betrayal’’ in previous ceasefire declarations.

It insisted that ‘‘Any ceasefire, monitoring of violations and reaching a real and genuine truce require international sponsorship, guarantees and mechanisms to be discussed through the activation of the 5+5 committee supervised by UNSMIL’’.

To this end, UNSMIL chose to highlight and seize upon the above paragraph as an opportunity to move the peace political dialogue forward.

In its statement, UNSMIL said that ‘‘Building on the various Libyan and international calls for a ceasefire, including the Libyan National Army’s constructive statement announcing a truce during Ramadan and the response of the Government of National Accord, UNSMIL calls upon both parties to seize this opportunity to immediately halt all military operations and resume the 5+5 Joint Military Commission talks – on a virtual basis, if needed – with the goal to reach a permanent ceasefire based upon the draft agreement proposed by the Mission on 23 February.

UNSMIL welcomes initiatives that will allow the Libyan people, who have borne the brunt of this conflict, to observe the holy month of Ramadan in peace.  The Mission urges all parties to refrain from any provocative acts or statements that threaten the prospects for a genuine truce and its sustainability.  This includes attempts to use periods of calm by one side or the other to reinforce their position.  We thus call on the Member States who are directly fuelling the conflict through their provision of weapons and mercenaries and the international community as a whole to use their influence to respect and enforce the arms embargo as called for in the Berlin Conference outcomes and enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 2510.

UNSMIL believes that the ultimate guarantee of a lasting ceasefire rests not only on the goodwill of the parties to the conflict but the commitment of the international community to abide by its obligations to pursue and preserve peace and security in Libya’’.

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