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Libya: 'Eid al-Adha truce may have revived hopes of lasting solution to the war in Tripoli'

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Tripoli, Libya, August 14 (Infosplusgabon) - The truce observed by the warring parties around the Libyan capital during the Eid al-Adha festivities may have triggered the hope that the Libyan conflict is surmountable.


According to observers, the maintenance of silence by the Libyan National Army, led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who had accepted, at the last minute, the mutual truce demanded by the UN envoy in Libya, Ghassan Salamé, will allow Libyans, despite the violations noted, to take advantage of the Muslim festival to gain a little respite after more than four months of deadly fighting in the southern outskirts of Tripoli.


Observers say the hope aroused by the mutual acceptance of this humanitarian truce, may be signs that the Tripoli war can come to an end.


Libyan political analyst, Rafik Ashraf, welcomed the truce, saying that "it proves that a political solution is possible in Libya and that the Libyan protagonists can achieve peace if a real will drives them".


He stressed that "it is the first time that the two camps in confrontation near Tripoli has accepted a truce even if it is ephemeral", recalling that "they have always advanced conditions and crazy justifications not to observe a ''cease fire".


He said that "this is an important step which shows a degree of flexibility by the belligerents who now seem to be convinced that the military option can not lead to a solution to the crisis in Libya".


He is joined by Hamza Rojbani, a Libyan university professor, who emphasizes that "the war rhetoric adopted by the belligerents aims to maintain the mobilization of the troops and appear with a firm position by removing any signs of defeat or abdication at the enemy camp".


The extremes of both sides have almost failed this truce, reproaching the Presidential Council of the Government of National Unity for having accepted the first truce, which indicates, according to them, a sign of weakness.


They considered that the forces loyal to the Government of National Unity are on the defensive and that it is the other side which is the aggressor has the option of returning to its previous position.


Haftar's troops have insisted that their plan to go for a final assault on Tripoli has been finalized, highlighting the high morale of the troops and their determination to complete their mission.


Statements fromboth sides pose threats to the quest for peace and a lasting solution to prevent Libyan bloodshed and suffering.


According to Mr. Rojbani, "the countries involved in the support of the belligerents were decisive in the acceptance of this truce", saying that "this situation demonstrates the degree of influence that these countries have on their support at the local level".


He recalled that "the holding of an emergency session of the Security Council on Saturday on Libya on France's initiative came just after the proclamation by Haftar of his acceptance of the truce", adding that "this suggests the existence of pressure from France on Haftar to accept the cease-fire.


Indeed, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) had requested the parties to submit a written commitment on the acceptance of the truce on the occasion of Eid al-Adha on Friday night at midnight Saturday.


Only the Presidential Council announced its acceptance of the humanitarian truce in due time.


On Saturday morning, UNSMIl lamented in a tweet that it has not yet received a response from the Libyan National Army General Command. It was only in the afternoon shortly before the emergency session of the UN Council that Haftar announced through the spokesman of the Army, General Ahmed al-Mesmari, the proclamation of a truce beginning Saturday at 3 pm and ending on Monday at the same time.


Seizing the opportunity of the truce, UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé said he hoped it would lead to a permanent peace in Libya, calling for an international meeting on Libya followed by a meeting with Libyan actors, as part of the peace plan that the UN mission is trying to implement to stop the military escalation since April 4 to the south of the capital Tripoli.


The plan announced by Salame during his recent meeting at the United Nations Security Council to resolve the crisis in Libya goes through three stages, namely, a cease-fire to be implemented during the Eid al-Adha, followed by an international meeting with the participation of the countries involved in the Libyan issue, then a meeting of the Libyan parties to ensure the resumption of their political process.


Referring to the international and regional positions of the countries involved in the Libyan crisis, Salamé stressed that "the countries are not unified", inviting them to "announce the format they need, to determine what they want at maximum or minimum, then persuade their friends in Libya to accept these concessions."


Countries such as Turkey, Qatar and Italy support the Government of National Unity, while Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and France support Haftar.


For Salame, "permanently laying down arms requires an agreement defining the limits and control, as well as details of what the parties will do, while the truce is an agreement between the parties to the war that their attacks voluntarily cease for a while ", expressing the hope that a permanent arms disposal operation will be achieved by progressing under a specific agreement in the future.


Issam Haddad, an activist with a civil society organization for human rights, said "the proclamation of the truce in Libya has exposed the weight of foreign interference in the Libyan equation", assuring that "the key to the solution for a lasting peace in Libya lies in the hands of regional and international powers".


He urged the UN envoy, Salamé, "to persevere in contact with foreign countries involved in the crisis and get them to change their positions and put pressure on their local allies to embrace peace".


Mr. Haddad said that "after this humanitarian truce of Eid al-Adha, Mr. Salame must progress in the implementation of his plan by convening an international meeting of countries interested in the Libyan case to pave the way to a meeting between Libyan protagonists as a prelude to the resumption of the political process including negotiations for a roadmap defining the steps to exit the crisis.








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