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AFP: UN monitors’ advance team arrives in Libya

France 24 has reported Agence France-Presse (AFP) as saying that the advance team of a UN monitoring mission has arrived in Libya.

AFP said that a group of about 10 United Nations staff flew into the capital Tripoli on Tuesday to monitor a ceasefire between the country’s two rival armed factions.

The unarmed monitoring team is also tasked with verifying the departure of thousands of mercenaries and foreign fighters who have been deployed in Libya and have so far shown no sign of leaving.

“A diplomatic source in Tunis said the advance team, made up from the UN mission in Libya and experts from UN headquarters in New York, arrived Tuesday via the neighboring country’s capital Tunis.” AFP reported.

On its five-week mission, the monitoring team is going to visit Sirte in the central region, as well as to Misrata in the west and Benghazi in the east.

AFP reported a diplomatic source in New York as saying that the team is due to submit a report to the UN Security Council on March 19 on the ceasefire and the departure of foreign troops.

The Libyan Army of the Government of National Accord and Khalifa Haftar’s militias have formed 5+5 Joint Military Commission and it, in turn, has managed to broker a ceasefire agreement.

The ceasefire agreement, signed in last October in Geneva, included a call on all foreign elements, forces and mercenaries to departure in order for the truce to hold.

According to the UN, some 20.000 mercenaries and foreign fighters were still in Libya in early December. A January 23 deadline for their withdrawal passed without any signs of them pulling out.

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