Libyan tribes met on Friday in the Zueitina region and stressed that Libyan oil revenues were used by the Government of National Accord (GNA) to bring in Syrian mercenaries from Idlib. They indicated that the GNA also utilized these funds to support what they described as the “shameful and betrayal pact” with the government of Turkey through pumping Libyan oil funds in the Turkish economy to allure Ankara to support the GNA militants against the Libyan National Army (LNA) forces.
Libyan tribes indicated that the step to blockade petroleum production flow to the oil terminals comes after informing all international institutions in the past about the GNA illicit funding of terrorists and mercenaries using Libyan petrodollars. The tribes emphasized that although the international community is well-informed about the drastic conditions in the country, all Libyans hear from the United Nations is just rhetoric about equal wealth distribution among Libyan cities without any tangible outputs.
The National Oil Corporation (NOC), in turn, reacted to the tribal move to dry up sources of financing thousands of Syrian mercenaries through oil revenues. The NOC denounced calls to shut down oil facilities and ports today, Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s Berlin conference on Libya.
According to the Media Bureau of the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC), the NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanallah said, without referring to the real reasons behind this tribal move, “the sector of oil and gas in Libya is the lifeblood of the economy, and the sole source of revenues for the Libyan people. Petroleum and oil installations and terminals are all property of the Libyan people. They should never be used as cards to play with to settle political issues.”
“Shutting down oil production and exports will have far-reaching repercussions and predictable consequences. If the closure is prolonged, we will face a collapse in the exchange rate, a budget deficit that will exacerbate to an unbearable level, foreign companies will exit, not to mention the loss of future production which may take years to restore,” the NOC Chairman added.
Mustafa Sanallah warned the Libyan tribes that took this step today, reminding them that their closure of oil installations is considered an economic crime under Libyan law, and a war crime under international humanitarian law, vowing that NOC will prosecute perpetrators to the fullest extent possible under local and international law.
Concluding his statements, the NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanallah called on what he referred to as “the security forces claiming to protect the oil facilities,” in reference to the Petroleum Installations Guard (PIG) affiliated with the General Command of the Libyan National Army (LNA), to prevent any attempts at initiating a blockade, warning the PIG that their failure to do so will force the NOC to search for other options to protect its oil ports and facilities, hinting at recruiting another force to secure the oil terminals.
Meanwhile, new video footage from Syrian Observatory for Human Rights shows transfer of new batch of terrorists from Idlib on an Al-Afriqiyah flight from Turkey to Tripoli to fight for the GNA.
VIDEO | New footage from Syrian Human Rights group shows transfer of new batch of terrorists from #Idlib on an Al-Afriqiyah flight from #Turkey to #Tripoli to fight for the #GNA. According to British media each fighter is paid $2,000 monthly by the #GNA.https://t.co/2dUbzthluM
— صحيفة المرصد الليبية (@ObservatoryLY) January 18, 2020
According to British media each fighter is paid $2,000 monthly by the GNA.