Smuggled Libya Gas Fuels Conflict
A crack investigative journalistic report by Benoit Faucon of the WSJ shows the way in which Libya’s subsidies on petroleum are manipulated by the militias to fund the war between Dawn and Dignity. I am quoted in it as below:
Smugglers selling Libya’s heavily subsidized gasoline and diesel abroad at jacked-up prices are likely using at least some of the profit to finance fighting between the country’s rival governments, according to a U.N. report.
The U.N. has called for an end to smuggling as it tries to broker a peace deal between Libya Dawn, a group of Islamist militias that holds power in the capital of Tripoli, and a government with Western support that rules the east from the city of Baida, and is supported by militias there.
“Oil subsidies are driving the conflict to the benefit of the militias,” said Jason Pack, head of U.K.-based consultancy Libya Analysis.
The government has previously said the subsidies cost about 800 million Libyan dinars ($587 million) a year, covering products refined from some 250,000 barrels of crude a day. Some of it is refined domestically, while some grades that Libya doesn’t have the capacity to refine are imported.
To read the full article click here.