EXCLUSIVE: Libya official reveals peace agreement details ahead of Moscow signing ceremony

EXCLUSIVE: Libya official reveals peace agreement details ahead of Moscow signing ceremony
Libya's warring factions will sign an agreement in Russia's capital Moscow on Monday.
3 min read
13 January, 2020
The agreement will be signed on Monday [Getty]

A senior Libyan diplomat on Monday revealed details of a much-anticipated peace agreement due to be signed between Libya's warring factions in the Russian capital.

The source confirmed the agreement stipulates the withdrawal of forces belonging to the conflicting Libya camps to their respective bases as was the case prior to rogue General Khalifa Haftar's offensive in Tripoli.

Haftar's forces are expected to retreat to the Al-Jafra base in the eastern part of the country, while forces belonging to the nationally-recognised government of Fayez al-Sarraj will return to Tripoli's Abu Salim, Amaiteqa and Tajura bases.

The source added forces affiliated with the Al-Wefaq government will remain in the current warring areas to maintain and secure the peace.

The peacekeeping force, which will also assist displaced civilians returning to their homes, will be supervised by the UN as well as a joint committee comprising of security officials from both sides of the conflict.

The deal is expected to be signed in Moscow on Monday, just days after warring factions agreed to a ceasefire which went into effect over the weekend, after weeks of international diplomacy.

The oil-rich North African country has been wracked by bloody turmoil since a 2011 uprising killed long-time dictator Muammar Qaddafi, with multiple foreign powers now involved.

The UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli had been under attack since last April from forces loyal to strongman Haftar, who is based in the east of the country.

Haftar's forces on 6 January captured the strategic coastal city of Sirte.

GNA head Fayez al-Sarraj on Monday called on Libyans to "turn the page on the past, reject discord and to close ranks to move towards stability and peace".

The prime minister's comments came after a ceasefire began at midnight in-line with a joint call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Since the start of the offensive against Tripoli, more than 280 civilians and around 2,000 fighters have been killed and 146,000 Libyans displaced, according to the UN.

The truce comes after a diplomatic offensive, led by Ankara and Moscow, which have established themselves as key players in Libya.

Ankara dispatched troops - in a training capacity, it said - to the GNA in January.

And Russia has been accused of backing pro-Haftar forces, which are supported by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, all regional rivals of Turkey.

Libya's head of High Council of State Khaled Al-Mechri said the signing of the agreement in Moscow would pave the way for the revival of the political process.

The head of Russia's contact group to Tripoli, Lev Dengov, said the two rivals will have to determine in the Russian capital "the terms of the future settlement in Libya, including the possibility of signing an agreement on the ceasefire and its details".

He added he did not know if the two men would agree to meet directly.

Haftar will be accompanied by parliament speaker Aguila Salah, while Sarraj will go with speaker Mechri.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Defence Minister Hulusi Akar are also expected to attend.

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