On the eve of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Libyan National Army (LNA) halted its siege on the Tripoli-based and internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) after the LNA’s leader, Khalifa Haftar, announced a ceasefire during Ramadan in response to international calls for a truce. In response, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) urged Libya’s warring parties to resume the 5+5 Geneva Joint Military Talks with the goal of a permanent ceasefire based on a draft agreement drawn up by UNSMIL on February 23.
They would only recognize a cessation of hostilities if it were monitored by UNSMIL.
The GNA conditionally rejected Haftar’s unilateral ceasefire, saying they would only recognize a cessation of hostilities if it were monitored by UNSMIL. The 5+5 Geneva talks began on February 3, bringing together five appointed representatives each from the GNA and LNA. Ghassan Salamé, the former special representative of the United Nations secretary-general and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, moderated these talks until his resignation, citing health reasons due to stress.
UN secretary-general António Guterres has begun looking for another candidate for the position.
Finding a replacement for Salamé has taken on even greater priority now given the circumstances, but efforts to fill the position have been hampered by resistance from the United States to the appointment of former Algerian foreign minister Ramtane Lamamra. UN secretary-general António Guterres has begun looking for another candidate for the position.
Military support for the GNA from countries like Turkey has allowed the GNA to slow the LNA’s advances and push back, which in turn has led to growing support for the GNA at the expense of Haftar’s ambitions to rule a united Libya.