The two sides signed the agreement at the UN in Geneva after a week-long meeting of delegates from the internationally recognized government of national unity, based in Tripoli, the capital, and the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Hifter and based in the east of the country. It has been delayed, but the Libyan ceasefire agreement, signed on 23 October in Geneva, is a welcome development, a step towards broader political talks and a way out of war. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres has put it, the agreement between representatives of the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNA) and Khalifa Haftar`s Libyan National Army (LNA) could be “a fundamental step towards peace and stability” if respected. However, the text of the agreement leaves room for different interpretations, misunderstandings and/or deliberate recasts of terms to serve the interests of both parties – or foreign benefactors. Preventing a destructive game of guilt and the dissolution of the agreement should be a top priority for anyone involved in the Libyan conflict. A ceasefire and negotiations resumed in August/September 2020 during the same period as the 2020 Libyan protests in cities controlled by the GNA and LNA.   On January 7, 2020, Salamé expressed hope that negotiations on the military and security route would begin within two weeks. These are a ceasefire, the arms embargo, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (GDR) and “terrorism and the fight against terrorism”.  The meeting resulted in a preliminary agreement on a roadmap for free, fair, inclusive and credible parliamentary and presidential elections, which also includes measures to unite institutions, she said.
It`s going to take work. The military monitoring committees, convened by representatives of both sides and responsible for implementing the agreement, should clarify its details. They will need the full support of their respective governments, high-ranking military commanders and foreign sponsors. The latter group, including Turkey, Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, are expected to cooperate, even if they fear that the success of the deal will reduce their influence on the ground. All have more to gain from a functioning, stable and united Libya than from a Libya that remains divided and chaotic or falls back into war. Ceasefire agreements will take some time and require strong support from the UN Security Council, including the establishment of a monitoring mechanism. But immediate tangible progress in defining and implementing each side`s ceasefire commitments is also needed to create the right conditions for the UN-backed political talks, scheduled for November. The European Union and its Member States welcome the signing of a ceasefire agreement on 23 October 2020 in Geneva by the Libyan representatives of the Joint Military Commission 5+5 (JMC) and congratulate the un Special Representative-in-Office, Stephanie Williams, for her successful efforts and determination.
On January 7, 2020, Salamé said he expected the political dialogue to begin in late January, possibly at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.  At the Berlin conference on January 19, the GNA and the LNA agreed to participate “soon” in a meeting in Geneva on the political track.  It would appear that most Libyan observers perceive the agreement`s vague commitment to demobilize armed groups as an allusion to Haftar`s camp. Haftar, who claims to be the head of the LNA, has repeatedly called for armed groups to be dismantled by Tripoli. But Tripoli-based politicians see the LNA itself as little more than an amalgam of armed groups that use the same brutal tactics as the Gaddafi regime.