Libya’s Military Commanders to Meet in Sebha Next Week


The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has set Tuesday, 16 May to hold a military and security meeting in Sebha, according to press statements by a source close to the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC).

The source added that the meeting, which will be attended by active military and security parties and JMC members, comes in continuation of the previous meetings held in Benghazi and Tripoli.

He noted that the talks “will be devoted to discussing the issue of securing the upcoming elections, forming a joint military force, and unifying the military institution.”

The source, who requested anonymity, indicated that a number of influential actors have sent messages to local parties not to take military action, or they will face harsh sanctions.

Earlier, a member of JMC, Major General Mustafa Yahya said that the committee would meet in Sebha, to complete the issue of expelling foreign mercenaries, releasing detainees, and returning of internally displaced persons to their hometowns.

On its part, the JMC stressed the need for “full commitment to all outcomes of the military meetings in Tripoli and Benghazi, which were attended by senior military and security leaders from eastern, western, and southern Libya.”

According to the final statement of the Benghazi meeting, the attendees expressed their “full commitment to the conclusions of the dialogue between the JMC, and the military and security leaders held in Tunis and Tripoli.”

They reaffirmed their “readiness to provide all forms of support to secure all stages of the elections. In addition to supporting the efforts of the JMC, and the Libyan Liaison Committees on the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign fighters.”

As well as agreeing to “initiate practical measures aimed at addressing the problems of internally displaced persons, missing persons, and ensuring their safe return through coordination among the concerned security agencies across Libya.”

The leaders exchanged information on the detainees held by both sides, and considered practical steps to exchange them as soon as possible.

They also expressed appreciation for the initiative of the General Command of the Libyan National Army (LNA) to release six detainees from the western region.

Notably, the UN Envoy to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily urged the JMC and security and military commanders to “highlight their commitment to ensuring an environment conducive to holding elections.”

The UN Envoy urged the military leaders to “cooperate in creating the necessary conditions for peace and stability in Libya,” voicing his hope that this meeting “will be a start to move forward and agree to adopt a pact of honour shaping a conducive political environment and committing to secure, free, and fair elections in 2023, and to endorse the results.”