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Tunisia pushes for UN monitors for Libya’s cease-fire By AFP

Tunisia, the current president of the UN Security Council, called Monday for a resolution sending international monitors to support Libya’s brittle cease-fire to be adopted as soon as possible.

“We hope that it will be adopted as soon as possible” because “there is a momentum, yet it’s a little bit fragile,” said Tunisian Ambassador to the UN Tarek Ladeb, referring to the negotiations between Libyan parties and the UN mission there.

At the end of 2020, UN chief Antonio Guterres proposed using international monitors in Libya amid hopes that foreign fighters will soon leave and the country can turn the page on a decade of war.

The warring sides reached a ceasefire on October 23 in Geneva under which all foreign forces are to leave within three months – that is, by January 23. The international observers would monitor their departure.

Guterres asked for a group that would include civilians and retired soldiers from regional groups such as the African Union, European Union and Arab League.

He called in particular for all nations to respect the UN arms embargo on Libya, which has been flagrantly violated.

Khalifa Haftar, a leader in eastern Libya, has enjoyed backing from Russia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Haftar reached the truce after being driven back in an offensive by the UN-recognized Government of National Accord, which enjoys strong support from Turkey.

In early December, UN envoy Stephanie Williams estimated that 20,000 foreign troops and mercenaries remained in the country in a “shocking violation of Libyan sovereignty.”

And while October’s cease-fire has largely held, Haftar in December vowed to “drive out the occupier by faith, will and weapons,” leading Turkey to warn of retaliation to any attack by the “war criminal.”

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