(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
General Khalifa Haftar’s forces have made their way into Zueitina and have camped close to 10 kilometers away from the Zueitina oil port.
The Zueitina oil port is controlled by the Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG), who are loyal to the UN-backed unity government (GNA), and continues to be under force majeure.
Last Thursday, Ahmed Mismari, a spokesperson for Haftar, said at a press conference that Haftar’s forces are not intending to take over the oil port but were only interested in protecting the country’s wealth.
Mismari could not be reached when contacted to explain the presence of Haftar’s forces in Zueitina.
It has been four months since the GNA arrived in Tripoli and its attempts to unify Libya seems to be getting more difficult.
Martin Kobler, the UN envoy to Libya, said to the Security Council that militia groups have been gathering in the geographic area in Libya known as the oil crescent. The gathering of the militias could result in clashes between them, said Kobler.
Early last week, Germany, France, the US, the UK and Spain called on the various military powers in Libya to refrain from causing further damage to the Zueitina oil port.
Zeid Ragas, an independent analyst residing in Benghazi, explained that any effort Haftar makes to take control of Zueitina oil port would also be self-destructive.
“The move was made by Haftar to widen his control on the ground and overcome achievements made by the GNA across the country,” said Ragas. “But with warnings by the international community and tribes in the area, any action is going to be suicidal.”