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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

France Stresses Need to Maintain Ceasefire in Libya, Expel Mercenaries


Mon 28 Dec 2020 | 07:47 PM
H-Tayea

On Monday, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that stabilizing the ceasefire and expelling all mercenaries from Libya is a top priority for Paris.

In a statement, the ministry called on the Libyan parties to abide by the provisions of the ceasefire agreement, and expedite the expulsion of all mercenaries from the North African country.

It added that there is no room for a military solution in Libya, highlighting the importance of supporting the political process and holding presidential and parliamentary elections within a year.

[caption id="attachment_190933" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Stephanie Williams, launched Monday the Legal Committee Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Stephanie Williams[/caption]

Notably, Libya’s rival leaders kicked off on Saturday a UN-brokered prisoner exchange, which was part of a preliminary cease-fire agreement between the warring Libyan groups.

The exchange of a first batch of prisoners, supervised by a joint military committee, took place Friday in the southwestern village of al-Shwayrif, according to the UN Support Mission in Libya, or UNSMIL.

Libya is split between a UN-supported government in the capital, Tripoli, and rival authorities based in country’s east. The two sides are backed by an array of local militias as well as regional and foreign powers.

The oil-rich country was plunged into chaos after the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.

In April 2019, east-based commander Khalifa Hafter and his forces launched an offensive to try and capture Tripoli, a campaign that collapsed after Turkey stepped up its military support of the UN-supported government.

The two sides signed a nationwide, UN-brokered cease-fire deal in October that included an exchange of all war prisoners.