Libyan leaders are discussing efforts to unite various armed groups that until recently were battling each other for the control of the country. Vice President of the Presidential Council, Moussa al-Kouni, held talks with Libyan National Army (LNA) commander, Khalifa Haftar, on unifying the armed formations from the eastern and western parts of the country.
The meeting between Al-Kouni and Hafter took place Sunday night (2 May) and was attended by the UN Head of Mission, Jan Kubis. The meeting was held near Benghazi but no other details were provided.
The Government of National Unity (GNU) has vowed to support all of the country in all fields yet it is concerned about the implementation of the security component of the ceasefire agreement due to the lack of security assurances. It is yet not clear what steps the GNU can take to ensure the departure of all foreign mercenaries and how the UN can help with the task.
The Joint Military Commission 5+5 has also not announced any concrete step to remove the mercenaries. Many observers see the removal of mercenaries as a key element in the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.
The lack of assurances affects the opening of the main road connecting the eastern and western parts of the country. Ibrahim Beit al-Mal, a former commander in last year's military campaign, vowed to the 5+5 committee that the coastal road "will not be opened until mercenaries supporting Haftar are removed and his forces return to al-Rajma" in the east of the country.
"We have set three conditions for opening the coastal road, namely a ceasefire, demining and the withdrawal of mercenaries, and we do not have any foreigners and we call on the United Nations to implement the procedures, not just written statements," Beit al-Mal said in a statement.