Forces of Libyan commander Haftar announce ceasefire starting January 12 – spokesman

The Libyan National Army led by General Khalifa Haftar has declared a ceasefire after Russian and Turkish presidents suggested as a way to de-escalate the hostilities with the government in Tripoli.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s also called for ending hostilities between the two warring sides in the troubled North Africa country earlier on Sunday and promised conducting peace conference in Berlin.

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The ceasefire is conditioned on the rival side, the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) – accepting it, spokesman Ahmed Mismari said.

It was suggested by Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul earlier this week, but initially 
Haftar rejected it. 

“We welcome Putin’s call for a ceasefire. However, our fight against terrorist organizations that seized Tripoli and received support of some countries will continue until the end,” he said through a representative them.

Haftar’s position seems to have changed now. The Tripoli-based government led by PM Fayez al-Sarraj backed the ceasefire immediately, releasing a statement late Wednesday that showed its full support of “any serious calls for the resumption of the political process and the elimination of the specter of war.”

Libya has been torn apart by warring factions seeking control of the nation since a US-led NATO intervention to overthrow the government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The Libyan National Army controls most of the country, but the Government of National Accord (GNA) was internationally recognized as in charge. The fighting between the two sides intensified over the last few months with Turkey sending troops to support the government in Libya. Other countries got involved as well recently: Italian PM Giuseppe Conte met with Haftar in Rome and Sarraj met with European Council President Charles Michel and EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell in Brussels.

Germany suggested organizing a peace conference in Berlin to find a political solution to the conflict.