Libya: new ceasefire in Tripoli after 115 deaths

Rebel militias withdraw. Macron insists on December vote

26 September, 10:05

    (by Rodolfo Calò) (ANSAmed) - CAIRO, SEPTEMBER 26 - Amid bloody clashes between militias that have been intermittently raging in the southern part of Tripoli, a new ceasefire has immediately led two groups to leave the capital. The two groups had attacked it by fighting against the position of Premier Fayez Al Sarraj, causing at least 115 victims and 560 wounded.

    Although it is still unclear how long this second truce could last, French President Emmanuel Macron, from the UN General Assembly in New York, has stressed Paris' position in favor of elections to be scheduled in Libya in December. ''Only this can accelerate the road towards a long-lasting solution'', the head of State said. ''The status quo is only producing gains for traffickers and terrorists''. However, the international community, as emerged in New York, currently does not see the conditions of stability necessary to hold correct elections.

    The agreement on a ceasefire was announced by the Department of security in Tripoli and by the ''Force of protection'' in the capital, a new coalition of nine militias that defended the premier from the attack of the Seventh Brigade rebel group from Tarhuna and by Somoud (Resistance) of Misrata-based hawk Salah Badi.

    The accord ended the second round of clashes after the first ceased with a truce agreed on September 4 under UN supervision but violated on September 17. In that first phase of clashes, which lasted nine days, 78 were reported dead and 103 wounded.

    The agreement, whose details were reported by media outlets including Al-Arabiya and Libya Observer, provides for the return of the Seventh Brigade to its base in Tarhuna, about 70 km south-east of Tripoli, and the withdrawal of Somoud from a position it had occupied near the airport in Tripoli.

    Overnight the new Force of protection, created Saturday by, among others, militias Trb, Abu Salim (also called Ghnewa) and Rada, announced on Facebook that the withdrawal of the two groups had been completed.

    The agreement provides for the handover of all positions at the center of the conflict to the joint force formed by the Presidential Council led by Sarraj.

    There is also a recognition for the Seventh Brigade which sparked the clashes and which is now considered part of the staff of the national unity government although it was dissolved last April.

    The clash, as stressed by prominent analyst Tarek Megerisi, was an attempt by the two attacking militias to replace those in power in Tripoli and, at least as shown by the current truce, those that have been confirmed as the strongest. (ANSAmed).

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