In Summary
  • The oil-rich North African country has been wracked by bloody turmoil since a NATO-backed uprising killed long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
  • Late Saturday, Haftar forces announced a ceasefire starting at the stroke of midnight (Sunday 00:00 local time, Saturday 2200 GMT) in line with a joint call by the Turkish and Russian presidents.
  • Early Sunday the head of the GNA, Fayez al-Sarraj, also announced an agreement to the ceasefire, saying it had taken effect at the start of Sunday.
  • European governments are concerned that Islamist militants and migrant smugglers, already highly active in Libya, will take further advantage of the chaos.

Tripoli,

Both sides in Libya's conflict agreed to a ceasefire that started early Sunday following weeks of international diplomacy and calls for a truce by power-brokers Russia and Turkey.

The oil-rich North African country has been wracked by bloody turmoil since a NATO-backed uprising killed long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Since April 2019, the Tripoli-based, UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has been under attack from forces loyal to eastern-based strongman Khalifa Haftar, which days ago advanced to take the strategic coastal city of Sirte.

GNA'S RIGHT

Late Saturday, Haftar forces announced a ceasefire starting at the stroke of midnight (Sunday 00:00 local time, Saturday 2200 GMT) in line with a joint call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Early Sunday the head of the GNA, Fayez al-Sarraj, also announced an agreement to the ceasefire, saying it had taken effect at the start of Sunday.

Sarraj stressed the GNA's "legitimate right ... to respond to any attack or aggression" that may come from the other side -- just as Haftar forces had warned of a "severe" response to any violation by the "opposing camp".

Artillery fire could be heard shortly after midnight from the centre of the capital, before quiet settled over the southern Tripoli suburb where pro-GNA forces have been resisting Haftar's offensive launched April 4, 2019.

WORLD SUPPORT

Erdogan and Putin had called for a ceasefire at a meeting on Wednesday in Istanbul, and Turkey on Saturday asked Russia to convince Haftar, who had initially vowed to fight on, to respect it.

Page 1 of 2