Militias announce Libya truce after Geneva accord

Militias announce Libya truce after Geneva accord
Libya Dawn announces cease-fire hours after Geneva accord in boost to UN diplomatic efforts.
2 min read
17 January, 2015
Only days ago, Libya Dawn supporters were protesting UN diplomacy (AFP)
An Islamist-backed militia alliance on Friday announced a ceasefire in conflict-strewn Libya, following an agreement at UN-brokered peace talks between warring factions.

The militias have agreed to "a ceasefire on all fronts" in the North African country on condition that "the other parties respect the truce", Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) said in a statement.

It also pledged to open up "safe passages to channel humanitarian aid", especially in Libya's besieged second city of Benghazi.

The alliance, which did not take part in the first round of the Geneva talks, called on the international community to step up efforts to prevent "foreign fighters from flooding" into Libya.

The announcement came just hours after the United Nations announced that the warring factions had agreed on a roadmap to form a unity government following two days of peace talks in Geneva.

Libya has been wracked by conflict since the overthrow of dictator Muammar Qadhafi in a 2011 uprising, with rival governments and powerful militias battling for control of key cities and the country's vast oil riches.

Read more: Libyan factions agree to more talks in Geneva

The UN special envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, had warned at the start of the Geneva talks that they were a last-ditch effort to prevent all-out chaos.

"The participants agreed after extensive deliberation on an agenda that includes reaching a political agreement to form a consensual national unity government and the necessary security arrangements to end the fighting," a UN statement said.

They called on all the players to cease hostilities and "expressed their unequivocal commitment to a united and democratic Libya governed by the rule of law and respect for human rights."

They agreed to work towards the release of abducted people, providing and allowing humanitarian aid to reach affected regions, opening airports and securing land and maritime navigation.

The delegates will return to Geneva for a fresh round of talks next week after consultations.