Ceasefire Agreement

It has taken time, but the ceasefire agreement with Libya, signed on 23 October in Geneva, is a welcome development, a step towards broader political discussions and a way out of the war. The agreement between representatives of the Tripoli National Agreement (GNA) government and Khalifa Haftar`s Libyan National Army (LNA) could, if honoured, be a “fundamental step towards peace and stability,” in the words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. But the text of the agreement gives way to different interpretations, misunderstandings and/or a deliberate reworking of terms to serve the interests of one of the parties – or foreign benefactors. Preventing a destructive game of guilt and dissolving the agreement should be a top priority for the parties to the Libyan conflict. Fourth, the agreement outlines important confidence-building measures, such as the reopening of roads in central Liby and the resumption of flights between Benghazi and Tripoli. Both sides have already begun to implement these measures, which will benefit most Libyans, and this part of the agreement is likely to go smoothly. On 8 February 2005, an example of a ceasefire was announced in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat publicly declared the ceasefire as follows: “We agreed that President Mahmoud Abbas would today declare a total cessation of violence against Israelis everywhere and that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would declare everywhere a total cessation of violence and military activities against the Palestinians.” [19] The presence of several armed groups in a conflict poses particular challenges. This publication builds on the author`s previous work, which analyses the ceasefires negotiated in Myanmar in the 1990s and opposes ceasefires negotiated after 2011 in terms of trial and effect. The ceasefires of the 1990s are an interesting example of how the government conducted bilateral negotiations and established a process of “division and domination” as a highly effective conflict management instrument at that time. The Lusaka ceasefire agreement attempted to end the second Congo war with a ceasefire, the release of prisoners of war and the deployment of an international UN-sponsored peacekeeping force.