The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has welcomed the acceptance by Libya’s two rival parties to resume talks.
It also called on all countries that are fuelling the conflict in the war-torn country to definitively halt all forms of military support.
In a statement late on Monday, UNSMIL welcomed the move by the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez Sarraj, and the Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF).
The talks will cover the ceasefire and associated security arrangements based on the draft agreement submitted by UNSMIL to the parties during Joint Military Commission talks on 23 February.
The new round of JMC negotiations will be conducted via videoconference, in light of the ongoing global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, UNSMIL continued.
UNSMIL said “The resumption of dialogue constitutes a response by the parties to the desire and calls of the overwhelming majority of Libyans who long for a return to a safe and dignified life as quickly as possible.”
It added that it “hopes that all parties, Libyan and international alike, heed the desire of the Libyans to end the fighting.”
Meanwhile, UNSMIL “hopes that the resumption of the JMC talks will be marked by a return to calm and a humanitarian truce to pave the way for a lasting ceasefire agreement, enable the competent authorities to focus on addressing the repercussions and threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, and facilitate the response of local and international agencies to urgent humanitarian needs.”
UNSMIL called upon those states supportive of the parties to respect the conclusions they endorsed at the end of the Berlin Conference. This would also include the numerous Security Council resolutions, particularly Resolution 2510 (2020) and those relevant to the UN arms embargo on Libya.
Earlier last week, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, expressed his concerns over “recent reports about a massive influx of weaponry, equipment and mercenaries in support of both sides in the Libyan conflict, which would constitute a flagrant violation of the arms embargo.”
The GNA is mainly supported by Turkey, which continued to send Syrian mercenaries as well as other kinds of support including drones and air defence systems which helped its forces to claim key victories in recent weeks.
Earlier on May, forces allied with the GNA said that they advanced and took control of a key military base, al-Watiya airbase, on the outskirts of Tripoli, adding that they also seized control of the city of Sabrata and the town of Sorman, west of the capital.
Haftar launched a military operation a year ago to take control of the capital and other parts of northwest Libya.
According to the UN, thousands of civilians were killed and injured, while more than 200,000 displaces during the last year as fighting escalating the war-torn country.
Since the fall of Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has remained in chaos. The oil-rich country has been split between two governments since 2014, the first GNA in Tripoli, and LNA in Benghazi.