Libya’s warring sides discuss implementing cease-fire

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - AUGUST 12: United Nations' (UN) Special Envoy to Libya Bernardino León (C), Libya's General National Congress (GNC) deputy president Saleh al-Makzom (2nd R) and First Deputy Speaker of the House in Tobruk Emhemed Shoaib (2nd L) attend new Libya talks for the political crisis in Libya by creating a unity government in Geneva, Switzerland on August 12, 2015. (Photo by Fatih Erel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – AUGUST 12: United Nations’ (UN) Special Envoy to Libya Bernardino León (C), Libya’s General National Congress (GNC) deputy president Saleh al-Makzom (2nd R) and First Deputy Speaker of the House in Tobruk Emhemed Shoaib (2nd L) attend new Libya talks for the political crisis in Libya by creating a unity government in Geneva, Switzerland on August 12, 2015. (Photo by Fatih Erel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Military leaders from Libya’s warring sides arrived Monday in the oasis town of Ghadames, the United Nations said, for the first face-to-face talks inside Libya since last year’s attack on the capital by the forces of military commander Khalifa Hifter.

The fifth round of talks, brokered by the U.N., has come less than two weeks after the two sides inked a permanent cease-fire in Geneva on Oct. 23, a move the U.N. billed as historic after years of fighting that has split the North African country in two.

The U.N. mission in Libya said the meetings through Wednesday would discuss implementing and monitoring the cease-fire, along with how to verify possible violations.

The October cease-fire deal included the return of armed groups and military units “to their camps” and that all foreign mercenaries be out of the oil-rich country within three months.

Fighting has since died down amid international pressure on both sides to avert an attack on the strategic city of Sirte, the gateway to Libya’s major oil export terminals, and to start talks aiming at ending the years-long conflict.

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