Germany and the UN will host the Berlin II Conference today to continue talks on a Libyan peace agreement that began at the first Berlin Conference in January. Stakeholders in attendance comprise representatives from UN Security Council members, neighbouring states, the African Union, the EU and the League of Arab States.
The UN is calling for a ceasefire deal between the two sides. Both have shown more willingness in recent months to negotiate following the resignation of the Benghazi-based government in September and a stalemate in the fighting around Sirte. The eastern faction, under Khalifa Haftar and his self-declared Libyan National Army militia (LNA), also recently ended an oil blockade. The willingness of the LNA to participate in security talks and prisoner exchanges signals its position has weakened since a failed attempt to seize the capital in April 2019, and indicates potential for stabilisation in the country.
However, prospects for a successful ceasefire appear low. While members of the first Berlin Conference agreed to end military support to both sides, foreign state backers continue to provide arms, increasing the potential for renewed violence. The LNA may also be emboldened to continue fighting if oil revenues increase, however this is unlikely in the short term given the global oil depression. Should the ceasefire deal collapse, continued economic decline and a refugee exodus is likely.
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Wescott is a Copy-Editor and Senior Analyst. His thematic focuses are international security, politics, economics and public policy.