East Libyan forces dismiss ceasefire push by rivals

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A fighter of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) of Fayez al-Sarraj, fires a truck-mounted machine gun at the forces of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, at Ain Zara frontline, in the southern suburbs of capital Tripoli. Photo: Amru Salahuddien/dpa (Photo by Amru Salahuddien/picture alliance via Getty Images)
A fighter of Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) of Fayez al-Sarraj, fires a truck-mounted machine gun at the forces of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, at Ain Zara frontline, in the southern suburbs of capital Tripoli. Photo: Amru Salahuddien/dpa (Photo by Amru Salahuddien/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) dismissed a ceasefire announcement by authorities in the capital, Tripoli, as a marketing stunt on Sunday, saying rival forces were mobilizing around front lines in the center of the country.

According to the spokesman, Ahmed Mismari, the LNA was ready to respond to any attempted attack on its positions around the coastal city of Sirte, and Jufra, to the south.

Mismari’s comments were the first by the LNA after the announcement on Friday of a ceasefire and a call for the resumption of oil production by Fayez al-Sarraj, who heads the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, in the west.

“The initiative that Sarraj signed is for media marketing,” Mismari said during a briefing for journalists. “There is a military build-up and the transfer of equipment to target our forces in Sirte.”

“If Sarraj wanted a ceasefire, he would have drawn his forces back, not advanced towards our units in Sirte.”

For more than five years, Libya has been divided into rival camps based in the east and west of the country.

The LNA has received backing from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Russia, in a conflict that has become an arena for regional rivalries

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