United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the positive response from warring parties of the Government of National Accord and the Libyan National Army. Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the Secretary-General, said that the Secretary-General calls on the parties to accept the draft ceasefire agreement emanating from the 5+5 Joint Military Commission talks facilitated by the United Nations in Geneva last month.
Guterres hoped positive response to the calls for a humanitarian pause to stop the fighting will be translated into an immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities.
“Given the already dire humanitarian situation in Libya and the possible impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary-General calls on the parties to join forces to address the threat and to ensure unhindered access of humanitarian aid throughout the country,” said Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (USMIL) also released a separate statement to welcome it and called upon all parties to work together and direct their powers and resources to support Libyans and local authorities to improve their preparedness to fight coronavirus pandemic and prevent catastrophic consequences. UNSMIL has been continuously working on a ceasefire agreement and a truce plan.
Libya has been facing a political and humanitarian crisis after the self-styled Libyan National Army, headed by Khalifa Haftar, launched a battle against the Tripoli’s UN-recognised government. Thousands of Tripoli residents have been displaced due to the shelling that started earlier this year targeting the outskirts of the Libyan capital.
Both parties came to a truce agreement on January 12 which marked reduction of hostilities in Tripoli, providing a much-needed respite to civilians. However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Haftar was continuing attacks ‘with all his resources’ even after the ceasefire agreement.
The pressure on bringing both the parties together has been so much that earlier this month, United Nations’ Special Representative to Libya Ghassan Salamé stepped down from the responsibility citing immense “stress” due to the nature of the job.