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SEPTEMBER 2020

LNA Rejects Russian-Turkish Ceasefire Agreement, Says Tripoli Should Be Cleaned From Terrorists

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LNA Rejects Russian-Turkish Ceasefire Agreement, Says Tripoli Should Be Cleaned From Terrorists

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On January 9th, Libyan National Army’s (LNA) commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar rejected the ceasefire proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The two leaders met on January 8th and agreed on a ceasefire that was supposed to begin on January 12th.

In a statement, read by LNA spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ahmad al-Mesmari said that the LNA welcomed the ceasefire proposal by Russia and Turkey, but would continue the siege on Tripoli.

“We welcome [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s call for a ceasefire. However, our fight against terrorist organizations that seized Tripoli and received support of some countries will continue until the end,” al-Mesmari said in a video.

بيان هام من القيادة العامة

بيان هام من القيادة العامة للقوات المسلحة العربية الليبية بخصوص المبادرة الروسية

Posted by ‎الناطق الرسمي باسم القيادة العامة للقوات المسلحة العربية الليبية‎ on Thursday, January 9, 2020

The entire statement reads the following:

“Although we welcome the initiative of His Excellency President Vladimir Putin, the friendly and head of the Russian Federation, aimed at establishing peace and stability in Libya, which is the goal and task of the Armed Forces of the Libyan Arab States.

We confirm the following:

The armed forces continue their efforts in their war against terrorist groups classified in decisions of the United Nations Security Council, which have proven in their own experience that it is impossible to create a civilian state, except by eliminating these groups, since they have captured the capital of Tripoli and receive support from some countries and governments that provide them with military equipment, ammunition and various weapons.

In addition to this, they receive unmanned attack aircraft, as well as the transporting of a large number of terrorists from around the world to fight against the armed forces and against the Libyan people.

Achieving stability and security and responding to the demands of democratic change and the resumption of the political process and agreeing on a national project for the equitable distribution of Libyan wealth without exception or marginalization.

Therefore, the militia must be dismantled and disarmed, and this is a national and international requirement that leads to the implementation of new security measures in the capital Tripoli, which leads to the creation of a security environment with which the Talk about an effective political process that leads to the formation of a government that will have the will and ability to carry out their decisions in all parts of the country.”

Leader of the UN-assigned Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj announced that they accepted the call for ceasefire.

“The statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the Libyan crisis and attack against the capital are welcomed by the High Council,” it said in a statement.

The High Council of State, which advises the GNA, said it will support all kinds of initiatives that address the welfare of Libyans and are aimed at ending the war.

The statement also noted that any call for dialogue should remain tied to the Libyan Political Agreement signed in the city of Suheyrat in Morocco.

The ceasefire proposed by Russia and Turkey is indicative of two things:

  1. Russia, which could be considered as a party that supports the LNA has reached some sort of agreement with Turkey, which very openly supports the GNA, mostly because it was promised maritime border revisions and spreading its influence and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
  2. Turkey’s capabilities in Libya are quite limited and it can’t really mount an effective offensive, or defensive operation for that matter, against the LNA, despite it attempting to deploy in the militants it backs from Libya, in addition to military advisers, experts, electronic warfare equipment and so on.

This is quite showing for Turkey’s actual motivations to involve itself in the Libyan conflict, and it also confirms earlier estimations that limit its capability to influence it heavily and sway it to the GNA’s side, there’s no suitable conditions for a full-scale invasion, mostly due to the part of the country controlled by the LNA, the position of Tunisia and Algeria, as well as Egypt’s strong antagonism of any large-scale Turkey involvement.

Turkey’s agreement is also jeopardized, as France, Greece, Egypt and Cyprus announced Turkey’s agreement with the GNA as illegal in terms of international law. Turkey maintains that it is within international law and it is as per its rights, since according to Turkish officials there is a “plot” to limit Ankara’s influence in the Eastern Mediterranean.

On the ground in Libya, the LNA appears to still be making progress. After taking control of Sirte, it is making progress from the eastern side of Tripoli and has put Al-Wushka under its control.

Turkish-made Kipri vehicles were seized from the GNA in southern Tripoli.

Weapons are being continuously discovered and seized in Sirte, and progress is being made towards Misrata, which is one of the last remaining strongholds of the militias fighting on behalf of the GNA.

It appears that the GNA is proving to be incapable against the renewed impetus of the LNA’s offensive that began anew on December 12th, Turkey’s involvement shows little change and it appears Ankara is admitting that by attempting to salvage its deal with the GNA by proposing a lasting ceasefire.

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