Libya’s two leading political rivals, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and General Khalifa Haftar, agreed to a ceasefire and fresh set of elections on Tuesday following talks hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in a suburb west of Paris. While Sarraj is the leader of Libya’s UN-backed interim government in Tripoli, the Government of National Accord (GNA), Haftar maintains control over the Libyan National Army and eastern city of Tobruk. As the leader of the Tobruk government, Haftar has refused to support the prime minister, whom he accuses of threatening Libya’s stability. The two leaders previously met in Abu Dhabi for a failed round of peace talks in May.
On Tuesday, Sarraj and Haftar jointly announced they had agreed to a nationwide ceasefire, calling for an end to the use of armed force in Libya, except in the fight against terrorist groups. Since the fall of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, large swathes of the nation have become vulnerable to Islamist militant groups, including ISIS and Ansar al-Sharia, which rose to power during the First Libyan Civil War. In the years since, Libya has been plagued by violence and instability as rival groups wrestle for control over territory while combatting the growing threat of terrorism.