August 21, 2020 6:05:37 pm
Libya’s UN-supported government has announced a cease-fire across the country and called for demilitarizing the contested strategic city of Sirte, which is controlled by rival forces.
The Tripoli-based government has also called for an end to an oil blockade imposed by rival forces since earlier this year. It also called for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held in March.
Libya was plunged into chaos when a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was later killed. The country has since split between rival east- and west-based administrations, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments.
Eastern forces of military commander Khalifa Hifter launched an offensive in April 2019 trying to capture the capital Tripoli. But his campaign collapsed in June when the Tripoli-allied militias, with Turkish support, gained the upper hand, driving his forces from the outskirts of Tripoli and other western towns.