South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks at the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 in Pretoria, South Africa, June 17, 2020. The summit, held via video link, was jointly proposed by China, South Africa, the rotating chair of the African Union (AU), and Senegal, the co-chair of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). (South Africa Presidency/Handout via Xinhua)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as African Union (AU) Chairperson, on Sunday hailed the ceasefire agreement in Libya as “an important step towards silencing the guns in Africa.”

“We congratulate all signatories for agreeing to this groundbreaking permanent ceasefire agreement,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.

The two Libyan delegations to the Libyan 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) talks signed in Geneva on Friday “a complete countrywide and permanent ceasefire agreement with immediate effect,” according to the UN.

The ceasefire agreement, its enforcement and observation is a critical first step in creating conducive conditions for lasting peace in Libya, Ramaphosa said.

“We further support the appeal by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for all stakeholders, regional and international actors to respect the provisions of the ceasefire agreement and ensure its implementation without delay in order to bring an end to this conflict,” said Ramaphosa. This includes ensuring the full and unconditional respect of the UN Security Council arms embargo, he added.

Ramaphosa stressed the need for external parties to respect for the arms embargo and called on them to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Libya. He also emphasized the importance of AU/UN collaboration in supporting the Libyan parties in search for a political solution.

“Guided by the spirit of fraternity, and the principles of solidarity and cooperation, the AU stands ready to accompany the Libyan people on this journey towards peace, national reconciliation and unity,”Ramaphosa said.

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