(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj, leader of the UN-backed unity Government (GNA), is calling for urgent talks after General Khalifa Haftar’s forces forcefully took control of oil terminals in Libya’s oil crescent region.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Al-Sarraj said Libya is at a “turning point” as a result of the forceful takeovers by Haftar.
“I call on all sides to halt provocative actions and sit down urgently at the same table to discuss a mechanism that would enable us to get out of this crisis and put a stop to the conflict,” said the Prime Minister, adding that he is, “not prepared to rule one part of Libya nor to lead a war against another part.”
Libya’s economy is heavily dependent on revenues from oil exports, making whoever controls the oil terminals more powerful. This move by Haftar has jeopardized the authority and ruling power of the GNA.
In the past couple of days, militias loyal to Haftar ambushed the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), who are backed by the GNA, and took over control of Ras Lanuf, Sidra, Zueitina and Brega oil terminals.
In a joint statement, six western powers called on Haftar to withdraw his forces from the terminals. The western powers also reiterated that the GNA is the governing authority in Libya.
Moreover, the six countries have threatened Haftar with a UN Security Council resolution to prevent the rogue general from exporting Libya’s oil.
On Monday, the head of the UN special envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, said he had “grave concern” regarding the “illicit” takeovers of the oil terminals by Haftar.
“Attacks on the oil terminals further threaten the stability and lead to a greater division of the country. They further restrict the oil exports and add to people’s suffering,” said Kobler.
Kobler is expected to update the UN Security Council on the situation on Wednesday.