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Rival parties in Libya’s Tripoli sign ceasefire agreement

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Government security forces patrol in the south of the Libyan capital Tripoli on Jan. 18, 2019. Xinhua

TRIPOLI (Xinhua) – Rival parties here have reached a ceasefire agreement after tribal mediation, said a local TV channel.

“We have reached a consensual agreement between all the parties to finally end the fighting in southern Tripoli, with withdrawal of forces 15 km from the border of each party and of all heavy and medium weapons,” Mohamed al-Barghuthi, head of the tribal reconciliation delegation, told reporters following the signing of the ceasefire agreement.

“It was also agreed to open the blocked roads and remove the dirt barriers, exchange prisoners and detainees, ensure implementation of the agreement, and end social and military protection and support for criminals,” Mr al-Barghuthi added.

UN Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame expressed gratitude to the efforts of the tribal mediators, hoping for “sincere success and implementation of the reached agreement,” the UN Support Mission in Libya said in a statement.

Southern Tripoli has witnessed violent clashes over the past few days between forces allied with the government and an armed group called the Seventh Brigade.

The fighting killed 16 people and injured more than 60 others, including civilians, according to the Ministry of Health.

In August 2018, violent clashes erupted between the Seventh Brigade, which descends from the nearby city of Tarhuna, and government forces in southern Tripoli, killing 117 people and injuring more than 500 others.

The fighting ended with a UN-sponsored ceasefire agreement signed by the warring parties.

Libya has been plagued by insecurity and chaos ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011.

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