Libya’s UN-recognized government on Friday declared an immediate unilateral truce in the war-torn country and called for elections to be held in 2021.
The Prime Minister of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Serraj, said he had instructed aligned forces to observe an immediate ceasefire and halt all combat operations across Libya.
The announcement came more than two months after fighters allied with the GNA government regained control of several areas close to Tripoli, foiling a campaign by rival warlord Khalifa Haftar to seize the city which began in 2019.
Al-Serraj added that the ultimate aim of the truce was to impose full sovereignty over the Libyan territory and the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries.
Oil-wealthy Libya has been in turmoil since a 2011 revolt toppled long-time dictator Moamer Gaddafi and has become a battleground for rival proxy forces.
Haftar is supported by Egypt, Russia and the UAE, while the GNA has the backing of Turkey and Qatar.
Al-Serraj, however, called for turning the strategic cities of Sirte and al-Jufra, currently under the control of Haftar’s forces, into demilitarized zones.
He also proposed presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya in September. There was no immediate comment from Haftar’s loyalists.
However, Agila Saleh, the Head of Libya’s Elected Parliament allied with Haftar, called for an immediate ceasefire in the country.