19 – 25 February: Second round of UN-mediated 5 + 5 JMC discussions concluded in Geneva

Feb 26, 2020 | Libyan actors

On 23 February, the second round of the UN-mediated 5 + 5 Joint Military Committee (JMC) discussions concluded in Geneva. It produced a draft permanent ceasefire agreement that included the return of civilians to their homes and a joint monitoring mechanism supervised by the JMC and UN mission. According to UNSMIL, both competing delegations agreed to present the draft to their leadership for review and agreed that another follow up meeting would occur in March to finalise the details and establish sub-committees to undertake the agreement.

On 24 February, Ahmaida Houma, the deputy speaker of the Tubruq-based House of Representatives (HoR) stated that the HoR had temporarily suspended its participation in the UN-mediated political track. Houma said it would only agree to participate once its delegation had been approved. The same day, Khalid Mishri, the head of the Tripoli-based High Council of State (HCS), said that the council and the Government of National Accord (GNA) would not be bound by the outcome of political talks if they went ahead before the 5+5 military track talks reach a tangible conclusion.

Fighting has continued around Tripoli and Misrata. On 18 February, GNA-aligned forces reportedly targeted the fighting backlines of LNA forces in Wadi al-Rabea following the attacks on Tripoli port. On 20 February, GNA forces allegedly shot down an anti-GNA drone on the Wadi al-Rabea axis. LNA forces reportedly launched more than 6 rockets on civilian neighbourhoods in Tripoli.

On 22 February, the Zuwara municipality declared a state of emergency following observation of suspicious pro-LNA armed group movements near Zuwara, with the Zuwara Operations Room mobilizing all of its forces to the Mellitah Complex. The same day, heavy fighting broke out between anti-LNA forces and LNA forces 17km south of Ghariyan. The LNA forces were pushing towards the town though were repelled by the anti-LNA forces, causing the LNA forces to retreat back to their initial positions.