Libyan National Army to examine next steps in managing oil installations

Ahram Online , Tuesday 30 Jun 2020

The spokesperson of the eastern-based Libyan National Army Ahmed Al-Mesmari
The spokesperson of the eastern-based Libyan National Army Ahmed Al-Mesmari

The spokesperson of the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) said on Monday that its general command is examining the next steps on managing oil installations after gaining tribal approval to do so.

Speaking to Al-Hadath Al-Youm, spokesman Ahmed Al-Mesmari said the general command has not issued any statement so far on this issue, though it has always welcomed "any Libyan movement to end the crisis and dry up financing for terorrism in Libya through oil."

Al-Mesmari added that the general command continuously works on "maintaining and protecting oil installations," including the assets of companies, wells and oil ports. He pointed out that the closure of oil installations came as a result of popular and tribal management of them. But now, he said, the general command is leading the process.

Earlier on Monday, an alliance of Libyan tribes announced the opening of oil fields and the approval for the LNA's general command, in cooperation with the United Nations (UN) and the international community, to ensure that "oil revenues do not fall in the hands of terrorist militias."

Speaking in front of Zueitina Oil Company in Tripoli, leading tribal figures and sheikhs said they previously "stopped [oil] production and export to call on the international community and the UN to develop a mechanism" that guarantees that oil is not controlled by militias. This led to an increase in food prices and the US dollar exchange rate and an inability by the state to pay the salaries of citizens, they added.

"We willingly allowed the flow of oil and we will shut it down if the oil is used again to kill and intimidate us," the tribal leaders warned.

The Government of National Accord (GNA), which is based in Tripoli, is backed by Turkish troops and thousands of Syrian mercenaries in its war against the LNA. Ankara, according to Reuters, is conducting talks with the GNA for a possible use of the Misrata naval base and Al-Watiya air base.

Although the LNA controls Libya's oil crescent, the GNA controls the reserves of the central bank, which -- according to an AP report -- is mainly based on oil revenues.

Libya has the biggest oil reserves in Africa. 

On Tuesday, the eastern Libyan parliament's defence and national security committee warned against the Turkish intervention in the war-torn state, accusing the latter of establishing control over state institutions in the capital Tripoli.

According to Al-Arabiya bews channel, the committee also highlighted that militias and mercenaries benefit from oil revenues as they are fighting alongside the GNA against the LNA troops.

Ankara, according to the same news source, continues to send new mercenaries to Libya.

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