Why Libya’s Oil Exports Could Be Halted
Earlier this week, the head of the Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) came out with a vague statement condemning calls to shut down Libya’s oil production. The Western media was, of course, baffled, because they had no idea that anyone had suggested shutting down the country’s oil production. Our team on the ground in Libya, however, notes that this is not a vague or random statement from the NOC. The threat to shut down Libya’s oil production is very real, and this is the first major oil-related fallout from the conflict to control Tripoli.
Last week, Agila Saleh, the head of the House of Representatives (HoR) of Libya in Tobruk, in the country’s far east, threatened to halt all oil exports by force in order to prevent oil revenues from going to militia leaders in Tripoli who are supporting the Government of National Accord (GNA) against General Haftar. Haftar essentially controls all the oil right now, and the ports, but the revenues still go to the Tripoli central bank, and those funds are being used to pay for the war effort against Haftar.
Unexpectedly, UNSMIL is now demanding that the Central Bank of Tripoli account for the use of oil revenues. Stephanie T. Williams, the Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs in Libya for the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Tuesday met with Central Bank Tripoli governor Al-Sediq Al-Kabir and demanded that he provide…