Forces battling for control of Libya's capital, Tripoli, have agreed to a truce on the eve of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. The UN is trying to broker a truce in Tripoli, where the LNA in April launched a surprise attack to seize the city from forces loyal to the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA). The global agency had called on both sides to commit to a humanitarian truce by midnight on Friday.
The spokesman for the Libya National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar, Ahmad al-Mesmari, announced "a halt to all military operations ... in the suburbs of Tripoli".
The ceasefire was "out of respect for this occasion's place in our spirits ... so that Libyan citizens can celebrate this Eid in peace," he said. The GNA had said late on Friday that it was eager to "ease the suffering of the citizens and allow rescue workers to accomplish their mission" and would accept "a humanitarian truce for Eid al-Adha".
But it listed several conditions, saying the ceasefire must be observed "in all combat zones, with a cessation of direct and indirect fire and movement of troops".
It also said the truce must include "a ban on flights and reconnaissance overflights" across the country's entire airspace. The GNA also called on the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to "ensure the implementation of the truce and note any breaches".
The deal came just after at least three U.N. staff members were killed Saturday when a car bomb exploded in Benghazi, Libya, a U.N. spokesman said. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack in a statement released by his spokesman. The statement said three other U.N. staff members were among the injured. The U.N. Security Council met Saturday afternoon to discuss the actions in Libya.
"The U.N. does not intend to evacuate from Libya," Bintou Keita, the assistant secretary-general for peace operations, told the council, which also condemned the attack. The United Nations gave no more details of the car bombing.