Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya, Stephanie Williams Opening Remarks at Press Conference on Ceasefire Agreement between Libyan Parties

23 Oct 2020

Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya, Stephanie Williams Opening Remarks at Press Conference on Ceasefire Agreement between Libyan Parties

Geneva - Palais Des Nations, 23 October 2020


Good afternoon

 Today is a good day for the Libyan people.  At 11:15 AM this morning, here in the UN headquarters in Geneva, the two Libyan delegations to the 5+5 Joint Military Commission talks signed a complete, countrywide, and permanent ceasefire agreement with immediate effect.  The agreement was facilitated by the United Nations and we signed it as witnesses.

 The ceasefire also responds to the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire and cessation of hostilities related to the COVID pandemic.

 The parties agreed that all military units and armed groups on the frontlines shall return to their camps. This shall be accompanied by the departure of all mercenaries and foreign fighters from all Libyan territories -- land, air and sea -- within a maximum period of three months from today.

 The ceasefire does not apply to UN-designated terrorist groups.

 With immediate effect, until the new unified government assumes its functions, all military agreements on training inside Libya shall be suspended and training crews shall depart the country.

 The Agreement establishes a Joint Police Operations Room which shall propose and implement special arrangements to secure the areas cleared of military units and armed groups.  The Joint Military Commission also agreed to form a joint limited military force of regular military personnel under a joint operations room reporting to the Joint Military Commission. 

 The parties agreed, with the support and participation of the United Nations, to immediately start the identification and categorization of all armed groups and entities on the entire Libyan territory, whether integrated into state institutions or not.  A mechanism and conditions shall be developed to ensure reintegration of their members, on an individual basis, into state institutions for those who meet the requirements and specifications of each institution.

 The parties reconfirmed their commitment to implement the confidence building measures (CBMs) agreed earlier this week with regard to the full opening of land and air routes throughout Libya. They agreed to CBMs also related to, measures to curb the use of hate speech and incitement to violence, to facilitate the exchange of detainees and the restructuring of the Petroleum Facilities Guards.

 In this regard, talking about CBMs I would note that today, a flight went from Tripoli to Benghazi and there is a regular resumption now and a schedule of flights between those two cities.

 I would like to also note that in my discussions with the teams this morning there are some very good indications that the oil installations of Ras Lanouf and Sedra will be ready to resume production in the near future, in a very short period of time.

 The parties agreed to establish a mechanism to monitor, jointly with UNSMIL, the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement. The parties requested UNSMIL to forward the Ceasefire Agreement to the Security Council and to request that the Council adopts a resolution to ensure compliance of all internal and external parties with this permanent countrywide ceasefire.

 There is a lot of work to do going forward.  We will quickly reconvene the 5+5 Joint Military Commission in the coming weeks to launch the work of the sub-committees which will tackle areas such as the withdrawal of Libyan forces from the frontlines, the departure of all mercenaries and foreign fighters from the country, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, security arrangements, and counter-terrorism cooperation, in addition to a national effort aimed at unification of the armed forces. 

 I would like to extend my thanks to the 10 members of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission.  What they have accomplished here today, took a great deal of courage.  They demonstrated their patriotism, love of their country and commitment in coming together to reach an agreement that can help secure a better and more peaceful future for all the Libyan people.   I salute their sense of responsibility and commitment to preserve Libya’s unity and to reassert Libya’s sovereignty.

  I would also like to thank President of the Presidency Council Mr. Fayez al-Sarraj and the other members of the Council, House of Representatives Speaker, Mr. Agila Saleh and Field Marshal General Commander Khalifa Haftar.  I must also pay tribute to the many Libyans who have sacrificed so much, who have lost loved ones, who have been injured and subjected to displacement as a result of this long conflict. 

 The Joint Military Commission members have exerted tremendous efforts to reach this Ceasefire Agreement.  They have set a high standard and an excellent example for their compatriots who are participating in the political and economic tracks.  The 5+5 have done their part -- and have done it very well – their compatriots in the other tracks will now need to do their part.

 The international community must also do its part by fully respecting and supporting this Libyan-Libyan ceasefire agreement which was reached under the authority of Security Council Resolution 2510 (2020) and the outcomes of the Berlin Conference.  This includes full respect for the principle of non-interference in Libya’s internal affairs and full implementation of the UN arms embargo on Libya.

 We thank the member states and regional organizations participating in the Berlin process as well as Libya’s neighbors for their support.

 Thank you.