Based on my previous article Libyan Civil War – Why? Who?, where I set up the background, the causes of the war and the main players involved in the Libyan conflict, now, I will present the latest developments that happened in Libya.
On the 21st of August, the prime-minister of Libya or the chief of GNA (officially his position is the Chairman of Presidential Council), Fayez Sarraj, announced that an immediate ceasefire will take place in Libya. He ordered the Libyan army (this military branch is under the control of the Government of National Accord) to end all hostilities in Libya.
In my opinion, this is a good move in order to end the conflict. But things are not so simple in a war where other actors have different interests and they wish the war to continue. According to Sarraj also, if a ceasefire is agreed, this means that the city of Sirte and the Jufra region will be demilitarized. Instead of militias and the army, police forces, from both sides, will patrol the streets and secure peace and protect the Libyan people.
A ceasefire also means that all foreign powers involved in the Libyan conflict will be expelled from the country. Thus, Libyan sovereignty will be fully restored. Moreover, financially speaking, a ceasefire would help the Libyan economy to recover a little. The revenue from the Libyan oil that will be sold will go to a special bank account owned by the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation. Furthermore, from a political point of view, a ceasefire means a chance for the Libyan people to vote again in new presidential and parliamentary elections, that are supposed to be held in March 2021, if everything goes well.
Sarraj’s decision with the ceasefire can also have other intentions: two days before the announcement, Haftar declared that he will not retreat his army from Sirte and Jufra. So, maybe, Sarraj’s statement is to put Haftar under international pressure in order to liberate those two regions, which are vital for Libya.
The warlord Khalifa Haftar was stopped to conquer Tripoli and many western parts of the country with the help of Turkey and Qatar. Still, he has the support of the Russian Federation, France, Egypt and the U.A.E.
**Prognosis: we will see very soon Egyptian forces sent in Libya to back Haftar.
So far, Haftar did not make any statements regarding the ceasefire, but the Parliament from Tobruk, which is not internationally recognized, agreed with Sarraj’s decision and announced an immediate ceasefire also in Sirte and Jufra region. Tobruk also agreed to hold elections.
As a short analysis and conclusion, a ceasefire means that Syrian, Sudanese and Tunisian mercenaries (and many others) sent in Libya to fight (with Libyan passports) may be sent home, because their passports will be invalidated.
Turkey may go home, as well as other foreign countries involved in the war. But it is tricky, because when peace will be restored, Libya has to repay “her friends” for helping her out. Turkey will bring an economic burden over Libya.
The best way to secure this ceasefire is that both Sarraj and Haftar to hold press conferences together and order the ceasefire, without pre-conditions.