Libya’s rival sides on Monday conducted another exchange of prisoners as part of a preliminary cease-fire agreement between the warring Libyan groups.
Six more prisoners were swapped between the Tripoli-based, United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and the eastern-based illegitimate forces loyal to putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar. The process is being supervised by a joint military committee.
Mustafa Yahya, a member of the committee, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the prisoner exchange took place in the southwestern village of al-Shwayrif, which is 417 kilometers (259 miles) from the capital Tripoli.
Five members of Haftar forces were released along with a member of the Libyan Army as part of the swap, Yahya said and added that efforts for the implementation of the cease-fire deal and prisoner exchanges will continue.
The exchange of the first batch of prisoners took place Friday, according to the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
Libya is split between the GNA in Tripoli and rival authorities based in the country's east. The two sides are backed by an array of local militias as well as regional and foreign powers.
In April 2019, eastern-based commander Haftar and his forces launched an offensive to try and capture Tripoli, a campaign that collapsed after Turkey stepped up its military support of the U.N.-supported government.
The two sides signed a nationwide, U.N.-brokered cease-fire deal in October that included an exchange of all war prisoners. UNSMIL announced the prisoner exchange without giving details on how many prisoners were freed for each side. It called for both sides to speed up the implementation of the cease-fire deal, including the exchange of all prisoners.
Fathi Bashaga, the powerful interior minister of the GNA, had hailed the exchange in a tweet, attaching photos of released prisoners.