Libya talks in Geneva end with no end in sight to fighting

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 03:04 pm

Military officers from Libya’s UN-backed government, GNA, and representatives of the rival militia of warlord Khalifa Haftar, LNA, began meeting last week in Geneva in an UN-sponsored joint military commission aimed at achieving a lasting ceasefire.

Five senior officers from the GNA and five others from the LNA convened this week in Geneva amid renewed international efforts to end the conflict. However, the UN said the first round of talks have ended with no breakthrough. Despite the two parties agreeing on the need to expedite the return of internally displaced people, they did not agree on the best ways to achieve that goal.

Ghassan Salame, the UN envoy to Libya, last week said “progress has been made on many important issues” in the attempts to achieve a permanent ceasefire that would have included a monitoring role for the UN. He also warned that the embargo to which world leaders committed to uphold, was being breached with weapons, ammunition and foreign fighters arriving to support both sides in the conflict.

UN chief Antonio Guterres has repeatedly warned that the conflict has been fueled by foreign intervention: “With regards to Libya, it is evident that the crisis has been severely aggravated by the presence of forces and equipment from many other countries, in clear violation of the mandate of the Security Council”, he said, and added:

“I think we have to re-establish the sovereignty of international law and the conditions in which the decisions of the Security Council could be implemented and that countries should understand that their engagements to promote certain conflicts only increases the potential for action by terrorist groups”.

The LNA is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, France and Russia, while the GNA’s main supporter is Turkey.