UN Security Council asked Guterres to urgently deploy observers to Libya to ensure ceasefire

Guterres

Following the failure of the countries concerned, in particular Russia and Turkey to respond to the Libyan Joint Military Committee (JMC 5 + 5) request of withdrawing mercenaries and foreign forces from Libya, whose deadline was set for the last 23 January, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) asked the Secretary António Guterres to quickly deploy observers to oversee the ceasefire.

The request arrived through a letter sent by the United Nations Security Council to the Secretary-General, anticipated a few days ago by Agence France Press (AFP). The Security Council’s request comes on the eve of the seventh round of talks between 5 senior officers of the Government of National Accord (GNA) and 5 of the Libyan National Army (LNA) in the Sirte city.

The Committee had previously asked the United Nations Security Council to issue a binding resolution to adopt and support the results of its meetings, and especially the permanent ceasefire agreement reached in Geneva on 23 October 2020. On that occasion, the Libyan military on both sides agreed on the opening of land connections, the resumption of flights between Libyan cities, provided that mercenaries and foreign fighters had left the country within 90 days, three months.

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So far, the United Nations Security Council has not issued any resolution supporting the results achieved by the Libyan parties. The countries concerned have not respected the Libyan will, leaving mercenaries, advisers, officers, and above all, compounds and military bases on the field across the country.

Meanwhile, the Joint Military Committee (JMC 5 + 5), including five senior officers from the Government of National Accord (GNA) and five from the Libyan National Army (LNA), met again on Thursday in Sirte. As anticipated by UNSMIL, discussions focus on the reopening of the coastal road between Misrata and Sirte, in the presence of demining experts from both sides and the United Nations.

The UN Mission welcomed the seventh round of JMC 5 + 5 talks at its headquarters in Sirte, from 4 to 7 February 2021. UNSMIL indicated that this round of military dialogue is dedicated to continue planning for the implementation of the ceasefire agreement signed on 23 October 2020 in Geneva.

It stressed that the consultations “will focus on accelerating the opening of the coastal road in order to allow the safe passage of citizens, goods and humanitarian aid, based on the progress made in previous rounds of talks by the commission“. The mission concluded that the meeting will be attended by demining experts from both sides, in addition to experts from the Mission, to provide technical support and discuss ways to proceed with the process of removing mines and remnants of war in the areas below the control of each party.

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