Libyan National Army declares pause in operations in Ramadan ceasefire

Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman Maj. Gen. Ahmed Mismari during a press conference. (File photo)

Libya’s eastern-based forces will ceasefire for Ramadan, Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman Ahmed Mismari confirmed on Wednesday, adding that the temporary truce came at the request of the international community and “friendly countries.”

Both the LNA and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) have already said twice this year that they would stop fighting, but there was a sharp escalation in warfare last month.

Libya has been split since 2014 between the GNA in Tripoli and some other areas of the northwest, and a parallel administration based in Benghazi in the east.

Members of Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar, get ready before heading out of Benghazi to reinforce the troops advancing to Tripoli, in Benghazi, Libya April 13, 2019. (Reuters)

Members of Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar, get ready before heading out of Benghazi to reinforce the troops advancing to Tripoli, in Benghazi, Libya April 13, 2019. (Reuters)

LNA commander Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive a year ago to capture Tripoli, but pro-GNA forces have this month taken back several areas with Turkish military support, particularly through drones that have targeted eastern supply lines.

Libyan National Army’s Haftar claims ‘mandate from the people’:

There was no immediate GNA response to the LNA’s declaration of a ceasefire, but Mismari said the eastern-based forces would reserve the right to respond to attacks. Ramadan, Islam’s holy fasting month, began last week.

It comes at a moment of political uncertainty in the eastern camp, with Haftar declaring on Monday that the army would take power and ripping up a 2015 political agreement that has been the basis for all international peacemaking efforts.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:58 - GMT 06:58
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