NEW YORK, June 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 24, 2016 President of the Libyan House of Representatives and Senior Commander of the Libyan Armed Forces Aguila Saleh Issa and First Commander in Chief of the Libyan Armed Forces Khalifa Belqasim Haftar signed the Coexistence Agreement in Confronting the State of Division and Conflict in Libya. Having immediately taken effect, a fifteen-day ceasefire, called for in the agreement, initiated at 2:00 PM EET on June 25, 2016 in the northeastern cities of Benghazi, Ajdabiya and Derna.
The Coexistence Agreement, a peace initiative proposed by Libyan politician Basit Igtet, delineates the beginning of a new era for the country's sociopolitical development. The agreement outlines the first of several phases through which Libya's leadership and citizenship may unite in order to create the establishment of a civil state. In the agreement, Issa and Haftar authorize Igtet to create and head a neutral committee to monitor and supervise the implementation of the agreement; its members will be impartial to the issues and/or factions dividing the country.
Key measures in the first stage of the agreement include: implementing a fifteen-day ceasefire in three of the nation's most conflict-ridden cities in order to bring together opposing factions and initiate dialogue among them; forming a neutral committee that includes different stakeholders from across the country to act as mediators in conflict resolution proceedings; strengthening comprehensive national reconciliation among the fragmented parties under the principles of tolerance and equity; securing the return of refugees, restoring their properties and compensating them for damages suffered; and ensuring the political, civil and economic rights of all inhabitants of Cyrenaica. Implementation of the agreement has begun in the east of Libya; a second phase to include the west and south of Libya is expected to follow.
The signing of the Coexistence Agreement by Issa and Haftar marks an important turning point for the State of Libya. Since the 2011 Civil War, wherein Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and more than 30,000 Libyans died, the country has been torn by regional, tribal conflict. This new phase intends to draw Libya out of its dark age and into a new age of unity, integrity and welfare of its citizens.
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