Libyan rivals to sign ceasefire deal

TRIPOLI: Libya’s rival forces will sign a ceasefire deal in Moscow on Monday, according to media reports citing local officials. Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) on Sunday issued a statement expressing agreement to a ceasefire starting from Jan. 12 at midnight, hours after rival forces announced a cessation of hostilities. The Libyan conflict escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rival governments: the UN-backed, Tripoli-based GNA, and a Tobruk-based government allied with self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar, who seeks to take over Tripoli. Reports say Haftar has arrived in Moscow, where he could hold talks with GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, who will arrive there Monday. “I call on all Libyans to turn the page on the past, reject discord and to close ranks to move towards stability and peace,” Sarraj said in a televised speech. The GNA has accused the eastern-based LNA of breaching the ceasefire in Salah Addin and Wadi al-Rabee in southern Tripoli just minutes after it came into effect, while the military says government forces made 30 breaches of the ceasefire in southern Tripoli. Turkish President and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called on the rival Libyan parties to establish an immediate ceasefire by midnight on Jan. 12.