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  • FILE PHOTO - A member of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces fires during a fight with Eastern forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya April 28, 2019.

    FILE PHOTO - A member of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces fires during a fight with Eastern forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya April 28, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 January 2020
Opinion

On Sunday, the Head of the Russian contact group on Libya, Lev Dingov said that al-Sarraj and Haftar may visit and meet in Moscow soon to discuss a solution to the Libyan crisis.

Libya’s warring factions, the United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al Sarraj and the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Kalifa Haftar, have accused each other of violating an agreed ceasefire Sunday.

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Early on Sunday morning, Reuters reported that fire exchange could be heard in Salaheddin and Ain Zara districts in Tripoli. 

The GNA warned in a statement that it had recorded gunfire in the Salaheddin and Wadi Rabea areas after the ceasefire was meant to start at midnight local time on Sunday. While LNA commander Al-Mabrouk Al-Ghazawi said that it was "the [GNA] militias” which “violated the truce on more than one battlefront, with all types of weapons.”

The temporary truce was proposed on Jan. 8 by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan, who back opposing sides in the Libyan conflict. 

Both nations called on all parties in Libya to "declare a sustainable ceasefire, supported by the necessary measures to be taken for stabilizing the situation on the ground and normalizing daily life in Tripoli and other cities."

On Sunday, the Head of the Russian contact group on Libya, Lev Dingov said that al-Sarraj and Haftar may visit and meet in Moscow soon to discuss a solution to the Libyan crisis.
 
The LNA, which is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), France and Russia, has been fighting off a months-long offensive and currently over Tripoli which is the last stronghold of al Sarraj’s GNA, which is backed by Turkey, Qatar, and Italy.

The U.N. recognized government recently asked Turkey for military aid, and after validation by the parliament, Ankara started sending military personnel on Jan. 5; a move that Russia rejected.

Last month, the GNA warned Libya's neighbors of severe consequences if Haftar was to take Tripoli.

"If Tripoli falls, Tunis and Algiers will fall in turn. This is an attempt to sow chaos in the region and exercise control over North Africa," Fathi Bashagha, the GNA's interior minister, said.

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