Libya’s two rival factions signed a “permanent” ceasefire agreement Friday after five days of talks at the United Nations, which hailed the move as a moment that will go down in history.
“Today is a good day for the Libyan people,” said Stephanie Williams, the UN’s envoy to the troubled North African country, where a UN-recognised government in Tripoli has been battling a rival administration based in the east and dominated by military strongman Khalifa Haftar.
“At 11:15 am (0915 GMT) this morning here at the UN headquarters in Geneva, the two Libyan delegations… signed a complete, countrywide and permanent ceasefire agreement with immediate effect,” she said.
“The agreement was facilitated by the United Nations and we signed it as witnesses,” she told a news conference in the Swiss city.
Libya has been wracked by conflict for nearly a decade, since the overthrow and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a NATO-backed uprising.
Since then, the North African country has been dominated by armed groups, riven by local conflicts and divided between the two bitterly opposed administrations.
But hopes for a solution have risen after the two warring factions in August separately announced they would cease hostilities.
However, both sides continue to accuse each other of supporting “terrorist” groups.
The UN-sponsored talks took place in the format of a 5+5 Joint Military Commission: five delegates from each side attend.