Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) has called on the UN Security Council to block any “illegal” oil exports from the war-stricken country after a rival government seized control of key oil installations.
The UN-backed, internationally recognised government’s move comes after renegade General Khalifa Haftar captured the two oil terminals of Ras Lanuf and Sidra earlier in the week.
Haftar said on Monday that all future revenues from terminals under his control would be handed over to the unrecognised administration in the east.
“UN Security Council resolutions are very clear – oil facilities, production and exports must remain under the exclusive control of (the Tripoli-based) National Oil Corporation (NOC) and the sole oversight of the Government of National Accord,” NOC chairperson Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement.
“We are confident that the GNA and our international partners will take the necessary steps to stop all exports in breach of international law.”
Authorities in Tripoli deplored the move by the leader of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) which it described as “irresponsible and a direct and dangerous threat to the interests of the Libyan people.”
In a statement, the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord said “the affiliated NOC [National Oil Company] in Tripoli is the sole legitimate entity responsible for running the Libyan oil according to mechanisms and laws in force.”
“The oil revenues are sent to the Central Bank of Libya to meet all Libyans’ needs, solve crises and manage the affairs of all areas in the country without discrimination,” the statement said.
The eastern-based authorities made a similar attempt to bypass the Tripoli government in April 2016, but their planned sale of 300,000 barrels per day of crude was stopped by the UN Security Council.
‘One legitimate NOC’
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maetig called on international partners to respect UN resolutions and not deal with oil companies linked to the eastern government.
“We stress that all international partners that the legal and only channel is the National Institution of Petroleum in Tripoli,” Maetig said.
“The Security Council resolution or decisions ban any dealing with any other entity except the National Petroleum Institution in Libya.”
General Khalifa Haftar announced on Monday he would surrender control of the key oil ports, including al-Sidr and Ras Lanuf, to an oil company associated with the eastern-based Tobruk government.
The Ras Lanuf and Sidra oil terminals, located in the country’s northeastern oil crescent, came under attack earlier in June when an armed group opposing Haftar attempted to make a dent in the main income source for Haftar’s forces.
“There is only one legitimate NOC, recognised by the international community and [the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] OPEC,” Sanalla said.
“Exports by parallel institutions are illegal and will fail as they have failed in the past. UNSC resolutions are very clear; oil facilities, production, and exports must remain under the exclusive control of NOC and the sole oversight of the Government of National Accord”.