Hafter accepts a ceasefire after ten months of hard fighting in Libya

Marshal Jalifa Hafter, a strong man from Libya, today accepted the ceasefire proposed by Turkey and Russia in an attempt to recover peace negotiations after ten months of intense fighting with the UN-supported government in Tripoli (GNA).

In a statement sent to the media, the spokesman for the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), Colonel Ahmed al Mismari, confirmed that the troops ended their operations in the capital, the city of Sirte and the other fronts at midnight, and He suggested that any hostility after that time would be the responsibility of the militias linked to the GNA and its ally, the city-state of Misrata.

Both had announced in the previous hours that they would accept the ceasefire if so did the eastern forces.

The armed conflict, which has claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people - about 300 civilians - and forced more than 100,000 to leave their homes, worsened on April 4, the date on which Hafter, who protects the Elected Parliament and the unrecognized government in Toubruk will launch an offensive to try to conquer the capital.

The marshal - trained by the CIA during his exile in the United States - is supported politically, militarily and economically by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, France, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, the latter state that provides part of its air force.

The GNA has, in turn, the support of Qatar and Turkey, the latter nation that announced last Sunday the sending of more troops and drones to the city of Misrata.

The hostilities intensified on January 2, the day on which the LNA undertook an operation that has led it to break the defenses of the strategic city of Sirte and place troops within one hundred kilometers of Misrata, the last defense wall of the capital.

The clashes have been equally bloody in recent days in Tripoli, bombarded with Grad-type rockets that forced the closure of the Maitiga air base, the only operating airport

Faced with the offensive, the State Council in Tripoli on Friday asked countries that support eastern troops to review their position on this "aggression", withdraw their support as "the only way to positively resolve the Libyan crisis, and be aware that the solution to the crisis in Libya "will only be achieved through a political process that Hafter does not take part in".

In this context, Italy, France, Russia, Egypt, Algeria and Turkey have deployed in recent days a frenzied diplomatic activity, with cross-visits in several countries, to create a ceasefire that a priori leaves the controversial forces ahead marshal.

Ankara announced on Sunday the sending of troops to Libya to allegedly guarantee that ceasefire, while Russia has maintained throughout the week the deployment of private mercenaries to reinforce an asymmetric war of high strategic value at the gates of Europe.


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