Libya army declares ceasefire

2014-10-01 21:07
Fighters of Libya's Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn) militia fire a cannon against a rival militia as they protect a position after they took control of the town of Wershfana. (Mahmud Turkia, AFP)

Fighters of Libya's Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn) militia fire a cannon against a rival militia as they protect a position after they took control of the town of Wershfana. (Mahmud Turkia, AFP)

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Cairo - The Libyan army has declared a halt to military operations "on all fronts," local media said on Wednesday, two days after rival parliamentarians at a UN-sponsored meeting called for a ceasefire in the troubled country.

Military spokesperson Colonel Abu Zaid al-Mismari told the Al-Wasat news site that the army would halt operations and implement a ceasefire on all fronts.

The military however retained the right to respond to anyone firing on its forces or civilians, he said.

Al-Mismari said the decision was taken out of respect for the Islamic feast of Eid al-Adha, which starts within days, and in response to the parliamentarians' ceasefire call.

The UN mission in Libya on Monday brought together members who have been attending the recently-convened House of Representatives, based in the eastern port town of Tobruk, with others who have been boycotting its sessions.

A UN statement after the talks said the lawmakers also agreed on confidence-building measures including addressing humanitarian needs and re-opening the country's airports.

Further meetings are due to take place after Eid al-Adha.

But Al-Wasat reported that the head of the Islamist-backed rival assembly based in the capital Tripoli, Nuri Abu Sahmain, complained that he had not been invited to the talks.

Islamist-leaning militias who control Tripoli have reinstated the former assembly, the General National Congress, which has elected a government to rival the one appointed by the internationally-recognized parliament in Tobruk.

Libya's plethora of militias have increasingly lined up behind the two rival camps, raising fears of nationwide civil strife while the official armed forces and police are extremely weak.

Read more on:    libya  |  north africa

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