Seizure of Libya Oil Terminals Sparks Call for Military Action
The Guardian reports that forces opposed to the UN-backed Libyan government in Tripoli appear to be seizing control of oil terminal headquarters and gaining a stranglehold over the export of Libya’s economic lifeblood.
This development is a major blow to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli.
The oil ports were seized by forces under the control of General Khalifa Hafter, who opposes the GNA and supports the rival government in the east of the country. The victory for Hafter is likely to increase his prestige and his negotiating power in the event of Libya being carved up.
The clashes also mean that the possibility of an economic revival driven by oil production and export is further away than ever. Six western nations had issued a joint appeal in August urging that oil facilities be freed from the civil war. …
The unity government called on all forces loyal to it to “protect and defend” the ports against “flagrant aggression” towards Libyan sovereignty. It warned overnight that the country was at a “critical juncture”, adding that “the hopes of Libyans for stability in the country have been dashed”.
The head of the rival government in the eastern part of the country said it would work on reopening the ports as soon as possible.
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