Ceasefire signed in Tripoli


A ceasefire was signed between armed factions fighting over the Libyan capital, the United Nations said, after more than a week of violence in Tripoli.

Dozens of people were killed in fighting engulfing Tripoli as rival armed groups vie for power and money in the chaos persisting since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
“A ceasefire agreement was reached and signed today to end all hostilities, protect civilians, safeguard public and private property,” the UN mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement.

Tripoli’s only functioning airport, Matiga, would be reopened after being closed since Friday, the United Nations said, without giving any details.

Commanders of some factions were seen on pictures published by UNSMIL, while others were absent.

It was not clear how the ceasefire would be implemented as militias ignored previous calls to lay down arms by the UN-backed government.

One armed faction, the 7th brigade from Tarhouna south of the capital, which attacked Tripoli with other factions, accepted the ceasefire, spokesman Saad al-Hammali said,

Last week, local officials brokered a ceasefire that did not hold.

There is no police or army or functioning state to enforce peace in a country ruled by armed groups who defy authority and form flexible alliances.

Tripoli is formally controlled by the internationally recognised Government of National Accord, but armed groups working with it act with autonomy. Eastern Libya is controlled by a rival administration.
“Today does not aim to fix all the Libyan capital’s security problems; it seeks to agree on a broader framework to start addressing the issues,” UNSMIL quoted UN Special Envoy Ghassan Salame as saying.

Fighting started because armed groups outside Tripoli opposed a cartel of four “super militias” controlling access to state funds and foreign currency at huge discount from the central bank.

Some 400 prisoners escaped from a jail in southern Tripoli on Sunday.

More than 1,800 families have been displaced since the start of fighting, a report by the Tripoli-based ministry for displaced people said.