U.N. seeks international monitors for Libya ceasefire

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has proposed international monitors to support a ceasefire in Libya, Agence France Presse reported.

The monitoring group would include civilians and retired soldiers from regional groups such as the European Union, African Union and Arab League, AFP said, citing a letter Guterres sent to Security Council members.

“I call on all national, regional and international stakeholders to respect the provisions of the ceasefire agreement and ensure its implementation without delay,” the U.N. head said in the letter dated Tuesday. “I encourage member states and regional organisations to support the operationalization of the ceasefire mechanism, including by providing individual monitors under the auspices of the United Nations.”

The Turkey-backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli and self-proclaimed Libyan National Army signed a U.N.-brokered ceasefire deal in October, which envisions all foreign fighters and mercenaries to leave Libyan soil within a three-month period and a political roadmap leading to national elections in December 2021.

Last week, LNA commander Khalifa Haftar threatened to target Turkish armed forces supporting the GNA after Turkey’s parliament decided last week to extend Turkish troop deployment in Libya by 18 months. The escalation has raised concern that it will lead to a return to clashes.

Turkey and Qatar support the GNA in its conflict with the eastern opposition forces led by Haftar, who is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia, among other countries.

Guterres reiterated a call for all nations to respect the U.N. arms embargo on Libya, which the international organisation says has been flagrantly violated by intervening countries.