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Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Libya's warring sides discuss implementing cease-fire

The October cease-fire deal included the return of armed groups and military units 'to their camps' and that all foreign mercenaries be out of the oil-rich country within three months

AP , Monday 2 Nov 2020
Williams
Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Political Affairs in Libya Stephanie Williams wearing a face mask attends the talks between the rival factions in the Libya conflict at the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland October 20, 2020. REUTERS.
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Military leaders from Libya's warring sides met Monday in the oasis town of Ghadames, the United Nations said, the first face-to-face military talks inside Libya since last year.

The fifth round of talks, brokered by the U.N., came less than two weeks after the two sides inked a permanent cease-fire in Geneva on Oct. 23, a move the U.N. billed as historic after years of fighting that has split the North African country in two.

The U.N. mission in Libya said the meetings through Wednesday would discuss implementing and monitoring the cease-fire, along with how to verify possible violations.

The October cease-fire deal included the return of armed groups and military units ``to their camps'' and that all foreign mercenaries be out of the oil-rich country within three months.

The two sides also agreed on exchanging prisoners and opening up air and land transit across the country's divided territory.

The head of the U.N. support mission for Libya, Stephanie Williams, is attending the talks in Ghadames, a UNESCO World Heritage site known as ``the Pearl of the Desert.''

The talks have come ahead of Libyan political talks scheduled Nov. 9 aimed at discussing possible elections.

Libya is split between a government in tripoli and the Tobruk-based authorities.

The country was plunged into chaos after the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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