Libya’s Neighboring Countries to Withdraw Mercenaries


On Monday, the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) in Libya announced that it had reached an agreement with Sudan, Chad, and Niger to withdraw their mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libyan territory. This came during a meeting held between the JMC, and neighbouring representatives in Cairo.

The meeting was also attended by the Head of the UN Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL), Jan Kubis. Talks were focused on the mechanisms and ways to permanently remove African mercenaries from the country.

In its final communiqué, the Commission stressed that the representatives expressed their full readiness to coordinate on the exit of all affiliated fighters from Libya, and ensure that they would never be allowed to return.

After the meeting held in Geneva on 8 October, the JMC signed a comprehensive Action Plan for the gradual, balanced, and sequenced withdrawal of mercenaries, foreign fighters, and foreign forces from Libyan territory.

The work of the JMC, or the Security Track, is one of the three intra-Libyan tracks that UNSMIL is working on, along with the Economic and Political tracks.

These tracks were endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2510 (2020), which called on both parties to reach an agreement for a permanent ceasefire.

Libya has been locked in a civil war since the ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The situation escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rival governments: the Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli, and a Tobruk-based Interim Government allied with the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

In February, Libya’s warring factions agreed to form a Government of National Unity (GNU), under the auspices of the UN, to run the country until elections are held on 24 December.