Libya’s 5+5 Joint Military Commission Meets in Sirte to Discuss Mechanisms for Mercenary Withdrawal

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On Saturday, Libya’s 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) kicked off its seventh meeting in the coastal city of Sirte.

The delegations of the 5 + 5 JMC from the western region and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) arrived in Sirte on Friday evening, via the coastal road linking East and West.

During the two-day talks, the JMC delegations are set to discuss a proper mechanism for the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign fighters from the Arab country.

The Commission will also discuss the resumption of prisoner exchanges and the unification of the military institution, in addition to reaching a consensus on the new Minister of Defence.

On July 30th, the JMC announced the reopening of a strategic coastal road linking the country’s east and west after two years of closure.

On October 23rd, 2020, the United Nations (UN) announced a permanent ceasefire agreement between Libya’s warring rivals during its facilitated 5 + 5 Libyan JMC talks in Geneva.

The agreement also called for the withdrawal of all mercenaries from Libya within three months of its signing. The deadline expired on January 23rd.

Libya has witnessed positive developments in the last few months following a breakthrough after rival parties agreed on on a unified new executive authority on February 5th that will govern Libya in the lead-up to national elections on December 24th.

Libyans hope the new government will end years of civil war that have engulfed the country since the killing of long-time leader Moammar Gaddafi in 2011.