By Sami Zaptia.
London, 21 August 2020:
Faiez Serraj, the prime minister of Libya’s internationally recognized government, last night declared an official ceasefire between his government and the Khalifa Hafter-led forces. At the time of publication, UNSMIL, the U.S., and Italy welcomed the announcement.
In the statement, Serraj called for a demilitarized zone in the Sirte-Jufra de facto ceasefire area, the departure of foreign forces from Libya, the resumption of oil production and exports and the holding of elections in March 2021.
The announcement was mirrored by a ceasefire announcement by the head of Libya’s Parliament, (the House of Representatives) Ageela Saleh. There were differences between the two announcements.
While echoing Serraj’s other announcements, Ageela Saleh’s statement called for the ”new” internationally recognized Libyan Presidency Council to be moved temporarily from Tripoli to Sirte in the interim period. This implies Saleh is redemanding that a new Presidency Council (the 3+1 formula) be chosen through the mechanism agreed with the High State Council and prescribed by the Libyan Political Agreement.
He also called for the immediate implementation of the outcomes of the 5+5 UNSMIL-brokered Libya Military talks. Serraj used the outcomes of the Berlin conference on Libya as his reference point.
Saleh also called for the break-up of militias (DDR?) and when referring to when the frozen oil revenues, that are to be held in a special account, are to be spent, he referred to both the Berlin outcomes and the Cairo Declaration. He referred to the non-spending of these revenues to be guaranteed by UNSMIL, the U.S. and other peace seeking states (UAE?, Egypt?).
Saleh did not mention a specific election date, but he looked forward to constitutional elections and national reconciliation.
It will be recalled that the Khalifa Hafter aligned and eastern-based Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) announced on Tuesday the partial restart of Libyan exports of already stored oil.
Here is the Faiez Serraj statement in full:
”Based on its political and national responsibility and the what the current situation in the country, the region imposes and the pandemic situation, the President of the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord issues instructions to all military forces to immediately cease fire and cease all hostilities in all Libyan territories.
Achieving an effective ceasefire requires that the Sirte and Jufra regions be demilitarized, and the police forces from both sides agree on security arrangements within them.
The President of the Presidential Council, by initiating the declaration of a ceasefire, confirms that the ultimate goal is to regain full sovereignty over Libyan territory and the departure of foreign troops and mercenaries.
The President of the Presidential Council also stresses that the assets of the Libyan people cannot be compromised, and therefore production and export in oil fields and ports must be resumed, with revenues deposited in a special account of the National Oil Corporation in the Libyan Foreign Bank, and which are not to be disposed of until all political arrangements have been reached in accordance with the outcome of the Berlin conference, in order to ensure transparency and good governance with the help of the UN mission and the international community.
In the same vein, the President of the Presidential Council announces that he has taken all measures to support the effective and optimal management of national resources. He also reiterates that only the National Oil Corporation has the right to oversee the security of oil fields and ports throughout Libya.
In conclusion, the President of the Presidential Council confirms his call for presidential and parliamentary elections next March in accordance with an appropriate constitutional bases to be agreed between Libyans”.
The Hafter-aligned PFG announces resumption of the export of stored oil and gas