• Rival parties sealed a deal that could end a civil war brewing since 2011
  • The acting UN special envoy said there would still be a rough road ahead
  • Sorting out the patchwork of foreign involvement and militias will be difficult

Acknowledging there was still work left to do, the U.N. special envoy for Libya on Friday hailed a cease-fire agreement between rival factions that could end a near-decade long civil war.

Acting U.N. special envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams announced parties to negotiations aimed at ending the long civil war signed a permanent cease-fire agreement at U.N. headquarters in Geneva at around 11:15 a.m. local time.

“Today is a good day for the Libyan people,” she said in a statement.

Libya splintered after a NATO-led intervention meant to restore civil order amid an uprising against longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi.

Gadhafi was brutally murdered near the end of that conflict by rebels in 2011. Rival administrations in Tripoli and Benghazi have been at war more or less since the end of the Gadhafi era, with rogue Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar launching advances on his rivals in Tripoli from the east of the country early this year.

Given the myriad of militias and foreign mercenaries on the ground, it will be difficult for the truce to hold. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wasted no time in questioning the agreement, though he did express support.

“Time will show how long it will last,” he said.

Turkey has been a steadfast supporter of the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli. Countries such as Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates have thrown their support behind Haftar. Russian mercenaries known as the Wagner group have exacerbated the problem of foreign fighters.

Ali Abushahma, who led the delegation for the administration in Tripoli, said the country has seen enough bloodshed.

“I appeal to all [of] Libya: Be one hand,” he said.

With support from the United Nations, parties to the truce agreed to start identifying the patchwork of armed groups in Libya, whether they’re working in an official capacity or not. Despite the breakthrough, Williams acknowledged keeping the peace in Libya was no easy task.

“There is a lot of work to do going forward,” she said.