18 – 24 March: UNSMIL welcomes “positive responses” by the GNA and LNA to the ceasefire calls

Mar 25, 2020 | International actors

On 17 March, the embassies of Algeria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, the UK, the US and the EU delegation to Libya called on the Libyan parties to sustain a humanitarian ceasefire and spare the country more suffering in the light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

On 21 March, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) welcomed the “positive responses” by the Government of National Accord (GNA),  and Libyan National Army (LNA) to the ceasefire calls on 18 March and 21 March respectively and expressed the hope that that the parties “stop the fighting immediately on all fronts to allow national health authorities and health partners to respond to the potential threat of COVID-19 in the country”. This came after LNA spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismari announced that the LNA General Command “welcomed” the calls for a truce and is committed to stopping fighting so long as the other parties abide by it.” However, fighting does not appear to have ceased on Tripoli’s southern frontlines.

On 18 March, the GNA ’s Ministry of Interior announced that following a meeting between MoI Fathi Bashaagha and French company Airbus in France, it would be signing a contract for the purchase of an Airbus 135 and Airbus 145.

On 23 March, the head of the GNA, Fayez al-Serraj, held a phone call with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to express solidarity with Italy as it battles the coronavirus epidemic. The two spoke about the current dynamics in Libya, attempts to stave off the coronavirus, and the breaching of the humanitarian truce.  On 19 March, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Algerian President Abdul Majid Taboun held a phone call in which the two discussed events in Africa, including the situation in Libya. The two are said to have agreed to increase cooperation between their two countries