Breaking the Libyan Oil Blockade
I have just published another feature in The Majalla with Haley Cook entitled “Breaking the Libyan Oil Blockade“.
As five months of disruptions in oil and gas production continue, the Libyan government has been unable to negotiate solutions to most of the separate strikes and blockades, and unable or unwilling to use violence. Increasing disruptions to electricity and fuel could turn additional public sentiment against such tactics and help bring an end to the growing economic crisis.
Libya is currently facing one of its most complex dilemmas. The continuing occupation of multiple oil and gas production sites, pipelines, platforms and export terminals by armed protestors has cut oil production to a sixth of the level it was at as late as July. As this cut in production, and thus in government revenue, forces Libya to dip into its savings to keep the government operating, a rash of assassinations of security officials, criminal activity, and sporadic militia clashes have spread the nascent Libyan security institutions thin. A recent political opinion focus group survey conducted by the National Democratic Institute found that “Libyans blame the government for continued insecurity and express a desire for the state to exert its authority and address the issue.”