29 April – 5 May: LNA accepts Ramadan ceasefire

May 6, 2020 | Libyan actors

On 29 April, the Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesperson, Ahmed al-Mismari, announced that the LNA had agreed to a humanitarian truce for Ramadan in response to international calls and had suspended all military operations across Libya. However, there are no indications at present that the LNA has withdrawn any of its forces from positions around Tripoli nor that it has halted its military operations.

On 30 April, the Government of National Accord (GNA) responded by stating that it does not trust any “truce” agreement made by LNA leader Khalifa Haftar, citing his rejection of previous ceasefires and declaration of a “popular mandate” to rule Libya militarily two days before as “living proof” that he isn’t a trustworthy political or peace partner. It said that any ceasefire would have to be guaranteed and monitored by UNSMIL in view of Haftar’s ‘‘treachery and betrayal’’ in previous ceasefire declarations.

On 5 May, GNA-aligned forces began a ground assault on the LNA-controlled Watiya airbase south of Zuwara. It is unclear how much progress had been made at the time of writing, with unconfirmed reports indicating that the GNA forces have reached the perimeter of the facility but not made it further. Throughout the last week, GNA-aligned Turkish drones have undertaken several aerial attacks on Watiya, with a notable number of aerial attacks on 3 May which are alleged to have caused multiple LNA casualties.

On 30 April, a video was released showing the head of the House of Representatives (HoR), Aquila Saleh, meeting with his fellow Obeidat tribal members to discuss Haftar’s move and Saleh’s recent political initiative. In the footage, Saleh stressed the importance of any future government being based in Eastern Libya and the important role the HoR will play in this. He also said that Haftar had asked for ‘something he couldn’t have’ when he asked for a popular mandate to rule and stressed that the dispute between him and Haftar was not personal. Saleh also reportedly claimed that he was following Russian directions when he had announced the new political initiative.