European Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell reportedly said on January 20 that the EU will be discussing all ways to uphold a formal ceasefire in Libya. However, he further added that any peace settlement will need real EU support to make it hold as a ceasefire requires someone to take care of it, monitor it and manage it. Libya has been torn by fighting between rival armed factions since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed leader Muammar Gaddafi and recently a fragile ceasefire backed by both Turkey and Russia was put into place.
The comments by Borrell comes after the European foreign ministers held discussions in Brussels and a day after international leaders agreed at a summit in Berlin to uphold a UN arms embargo and end military support for the country's warring factions. Participants in Sunday's Berlin conference on Libya, in a joint statement, called for the demobilisation of all Libyan armed groups. The participants have also called for restoring the monopoly of the state for the legitimate use of force.
"We call for a comprehensive process of demobilisation and disarmament of armed groups and militias in Libya and the subsequent integration of suitable personnel into civilian, security and military state institutions, on an individual basis and based on a census of armed groups personnel and professional vetting. We call upon the United Nations to assist this process," the document's article 12 reads.
The summit called for external factors to refrain from intervening in Libya's domestic matters. The participants urged the United Nations to broker the ceasefire negotiations between the conflicting sides and also asked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to impose sanctions against those who violate the ceasefire.
"We call upon the United Nations to facilitate ceasefire negotiations between the parties, including through the immediate establishment of technical committees to monitor and verify the implementation of the ceasefire," the document reads, adding, "We call upon the UNSC to impose appropriate sanctions on those who are found to be in violation of the ceasefire arrangements and on the Member States to enforce these".
Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, head of Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord and his rival military commander of Libyan national Army, Khalifa Haftar attended the UN-backed gathering in the German capital to carve out a political process in the war-torn North African country.