Libya’s warring factions announce ceasefire, renew hopes for elusive peace

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A military vehicle which belongs to the Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar is seen at one of their sites in west of Sirte, Libya August 19, 2020. Picture taken August 19, 2020. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

Libya’s warring factions have announced a nationwide ceasefire, renewing hope for peace in the troubled North African country.

The Tripoli-based government announced an end to hostilities on Friday and called for demilitarizing the contested strategic city of Sirte, and the east-based administration followed suit, calling for an end to an oil blockade imposed earlier this year.

Libya has been dogged by a civil war for years, sparked by the killing of former long-serving president Muammar Gadaffi.

The war has killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands as each faction claims legitimacy.

Forces loyal to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) under Fayez al-Sarraj and those under eastern commander Khalifa Haftar have been receiving support from various countries in their quest to take control of the country.

The ceasefire agreement has been welcomed by the U.N. Support Mission in Libya.

“The Acting Special Representative in Libya warmly welcomes the important agreement between the Presidency Council and the House of Representatives’ aimed at a ceasefire and activating the political process,” the body said.

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