Fighters in eastern Libya loyal to renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar announced a ceasefire in the western region, which includes the capital Tripoli, starting 00:01am on Sunday (22:01 GMT) conditioned on acceptance by their rivals, a spokesman said.
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Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) on Thursday rebuffed a call by Turkey and Russia for the warring parties to declare a ceasefire amid clashes and air raids in a conflict drawing increasing foreign involvement and concern.
However, LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari said in a video statement late on Saturday that LNA accepted a truce in the west “provided that the other party abides by the ceasefire.”
He warned that “any breach will be met with a harsh response”.
The fact that the warring factions agreed to a ceasefire did not mean an end to hostilities.
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) welcomed the truce and urged the warring parties “to strictly abide by the ceasefire and make a room for peaceful efforts to address all disputes through a Libyan-Libyan dialogue“.
The international community needed to find a unified position over the deadly conflict.
A senior GNA official said on Thursday that it welcomed any credible ceasefire proposal but had a duty to protect Libyans from Haftar’s offensive.
Any ceasefire will probably be hard to uphold after a recent escalation in fighting around Tripoli and the strategic coastal city of Sirte and given the fractious, loose nature of Libya’s military alliances.
Forces loyal to Haftar said this week they had taken control of Sirte in a rapid advance preceded by air strikes.