Twenty-seven prisoners held by Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar’s militia were released in exchange for eight soldiers from the Libyan army under the supervision of the 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission, a member of the military committee for the Libyan government told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday. 

“The operation took place in the Shweref area — 417 kilometers [259 miles] south of the capital Tripoli — in the presence of two delegations from the Joint Military Committee as well as notables from different regions,” said Brigadier Mukhtar Naqasa.

On Oct. 23, the UN announced a permanent cease-fire agreement between Libya’s warring rivals during its facilitated 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission talks in Geneva.

The Joint Military Committee includes five members from the internationally recognized government and five from Haftar’s militia.

Libya has been plagued by chaos since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Based in the capital Tripoli and currently led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, the Government of National Accord was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement have failed due to a military offensive by Haftar.

Al-Sarraj’s government has been battling Haftar’s militias since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

*Ibrahim Mukhtar contributed to this report from Ankara

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