Agreement Reached Between Warring Libya Factions
The Libyan conflict is a step closer to being reconciled, as Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and rival Khalifa Haftar agreed to a ceasefire agreement during talks mediated by French President Emmanuel Macron. “We commit to refrain from any use of armed force for any purpose that does not strictly constitute counterterrorism,” the two leaders said in a joint statement. Along with the truce, the deal commits both sides to holding an election “as soon as possible,” likely in 2018. Libya has been beset by violence—with competing militias vying for territory and influence on the backdrop of constant political infighting—since former strongman Muammar Gadhafi was deposed in 2011. To date, Haftar has rejected the authority of al-Serraj’s UN-backed Government of National Accord, while his forces, backed by Egypt and United Arab Emirates, have gained ground in the east of the country. Western governments are pushing a political solution that would unify the country under Serraj’s Tripoli-based government.