The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), which is based in Tripoli, announced on August 21 a nationwide ceasefire.
A heated conflict between the GNA and the Libyan National Army (LNA) jeopardized the political process in the war-torn country over the last two years. The GNA received support from Turkey and Qatar, while Egypt, the UAE and Russia backed the army.
“The head of the Presidential Council of the GNA [Fayez al-Sarraj] has issued instructions to all military forces to immediately cease fire and all combat operations in all Libyan territories”, the government said in its official statement.
The GNA also called for the establishment of a demilitarized zone between al-Jufra and Sirte in central Libya as well as for an agreement to preserve oil income until a full political settlement is reached.
Earlier, the House of Representatives (HoR), allied with the LNA, called for a ceasefire in the country. The HoR also suggested that any new Presidential Council should be based in Sirte, wich would be placed under the control of the joint police force.
Both the GNA and the HoR stressed in their statements that the political settlement should be based on the outcome of the Berlin Conference.
The ceasefire announcement was welcomed by several countries, including France, Egypt and the U.S.
The head of the Petroleum Facilities Guard, General Naji al-Maghrabi, announced on Wednesday that the blockade on oil production in the country imposed by LNA Commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar had been lifted after over seven months. By order of LNA Khalifa Haftar, the oil terminals and deposits will resume operation after months of closure. Libya will export only oil accumulated in port terminals. The decision was seen as a sign of a close political agreement with the GNA.
The new ceasefire is further evidence that an agreement between the GNA and the LNA is close. International pressure, especially from Egypt, played a key role in pushing the two sides away from a long military conflict.